I took two whole days and did absolutely nothing. No housework, no errands, not even going to church. It’s not that I don’t enjoy such things. I was just tired. Tired of the rushing, the “gotta, gotta, gotta”, the loud busyness of modernity, the measuring of success by how bedraggled and time starved you are. And I’m only on the outskirts of it, though not nearly far enough to said outskirts for my taste. I didn’t even get in my car, though I seriously needed a few groceries. My body and spirit were exhausted.
This has been a difficult year. I’ve been pushing and clawing and going nearly nonstop – not for some fabled and elusive success, but just to keep a roof over my and my family’s heads and food on the table, things commonly known as basic necessities. There were many times when I failed at the food part and I went without so my family didn’t have to. It can make work challenging; hunger brain fog is real, folks. But I’d endure that challenge ten times over to make sure my family doesn’t have to. Truly, there were moments I wondered if I’d be able to afford soap. Thankfully, I always could, somehow.
Recently, in an effort to make life easier all around, I attempted to
move. I found a place, the landlord and I found each other quite agreeable and my bank account found the rent quite nice. At the last moment, the landlord decided he’d rather move to the house in question. I don’t blame him; the place was beautiful! Not at first glance, but with care and love it could be an incredible sanctuary. I felt no malice toward him for his decision. I cried anyway. It felt like my last chance to get free of this seemingly interminable struggle I’ve been in for the last three years, intensifying this last year, had slipped away. I was hoping to be able to celebrate my birthday in a new place with the sigh of relief that comes with the lessening of a great burden. But no. I am still in my perfectly suitable but above my means house, still the same amount shy every month of being able to comfortably make rent and utilities, still in Santa Fe, still likely to be struggling a bit longer. I’d had enough and decided I didn’t want to talk to anyone outside my home, nor did I want to venture forth from said home.
I spent the entire weekend mostly prone, sleeping, reading, eating when I was hungry. I’ve had to make dietary changes so the restful time was perfect for this. I had to return to a raw vegan diet since everything else I ate was making me nauseous. Rest, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts and veggies, herbal teas and a good bit more rest. No phone (I left it off since coming home from work Friday night), very little internet, sparse conversation. I couldn’t even bring myself to exit my house doors, let alone turn on my car. If it wasn’t in my house already then I would do without it.
In my silence I began to notice my spirit felt like a raw, open wound. I hurt. My body hurt, my mind hurt, my spirit throbbed and ached and probably bled if spirit has such a thing as blood. I. Hurt. A lot. It was like I could feel not only my own pain but the pain of the entire world all at once, all its jagged, pointy edges shredding my soft innards like broken glass on a naked baby. So I rested. I slept. And slept and slept some more. I didn’t know I could sleep so much! And through all of this resting and doing of nothing I began to feel the deeper layers of fatigue. They go deep. Scary deep if I had to descend them on my own. Thankfully, I do not. I just have to be willing to see what’s there, knowing it’s the job of the Divine to heal and nourish whatever we find. As a matter of fact, that’s what was offered during one of my meditations this week: let God heal your heart for you.
The hardest part of healing is the doing of nothing. Especially when you’ve said yes to allowing God to do the work. I keep wanting to “help” – like when toddlers try to help with anything. We find it amusing and sweet but know they aren’t really helping at all. We give them a task that essentially keeps them out of the way but allows them to feel like they’re doing something helpful while we do the actual work. Helping God heal me is a lot like that. I am doing something, the task assigned me. This weekend, my task was radical rest. Not just any rest, but two steps away from complete shut down rest. The only way it could have been more complete would have been for me to be isolated somewhere without internet or cell access, alone. But I am not yet ready for such an intesive healing session. I would be there if that was what God had prepared for me. I need a bit more healing before I go careening off into the actual wilderness. There’s an awful lot of internal wilderness for me to explore and heal in the meantime. Radical resting may just become a regular habit.