Take time for yourself
If you have been looking for one... THIS is your sign to stop saying YES to everything!
Over the past year, I have become increasingly aware that one of my greatest struggles is saying 'yes' to everything. Do you want to get together on this evening? Sure! Can you be a part of this team? Okay! Wanna join this board? Alright, let's do it! Wanna collaborate on a work project? I don't see why not!
One after the other, my evenings and weekends became more and more busy. My schedule for each day was planned out a month in advance! Meeting after meeting after event after get together after phone call after team meeting... The list felt never ending. And in the midst of this all, I was striving to excel as a wife - I had to fit in grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. and of course most importantly, spending time with my husband. My husband is very gracious and pitches in help wherever help is needed, but personally, I really enjoy doing each of these things and I like to put in good time to do it well.
And so, life became so busy that I got to a point where I had to start scheduling my showers. I had no time to pause and reflect, read a book, or relax. I guess the plus side is... I got to have a (small) taste of what it's like to be a mother for the future!
I also noticed at one point that I caught myself feeling bad if I was unable to do something or go somewhere because I already had a prior commitment. I felt like if my answer was 'no', the person would feel like I did not care to meet their request.
And so I tried to make up for it by becoming overly apologetic. "I'm so sorry, but...", "I feel so bad", "Please forgive me but...".
Does any of that sound like you? If yes, I completely understand how you are feeling.
I quickly have realized that this is not okay. If you are too busy to pray, reflect, and simply rest, then you are busier than God ever intended you to be. Sometimes the devil can tempt us to say yes to everything in order to exhaust us and in the long run, make us spiritually unproductive. Our life can quickly become filled with the "noise" of the world, where it's one thing after the other.
Prayer, sleep, and rest are essential for our body and soul in order to stay on track and grow. As humans, we are having a soul experience in a physical body. Our lifestyles and how we conduct ourselves impacts our body which inevitably impacts our soul. We are connected; body and soul are one.
Because of this, we need BOTH an active yet contemplative life to stay in balance, not just one of the two. The devil, however, will often attempt to silence our contemplative life by bombarding us with events and tasks to accomplish and we begin to feel pressured to give in to it, otherwise we may be perceived as lazy or unaccomplished.
All we have to do is look around. How many times this week did you, or someone at your work or in your family say, "I'm so tired". Chances are you've heard it more than once. If we look all around us, there are so many signs of a 'tired' culture. We are always on the run, busy, and heading to the next thing whether it be the next event, meeting, or get together.
And so today I wanted to invite you all to take a pause, breathe, and give yourself permission to say 'no'. Because believe it or not, it's OKAY TO SAY NO! And in fact, you should say no for the simple fact that it will in the end help you grow in holiness because you will allow for more time for our Lord where we encounter Him through silence.
Having some activity in your life is necessary, for sure, but the moment it starts over powering your contemplative life it becomes dangerous.
And so, if you have been feeling drained, tired, and overly busy, I wanted to invite those who struggle with this to make it your rule of life to say 'no' to at least one thing this week. In its place, use the time you said 'no' to for yourself, your loved ones, and for God.
Take that bubble bath you've been wanting. Read that book that's been on your night stand. Take a nap. Pray the rosary. Read the Bible. Breathe.
When you take care of your physical self and rest, you are better able to take care of your soul. In this busy world, give yourself permission to pause and retread from all the chaos.
With love, Kasia