“My worst moment is not knowing what you want to do.” David O. Russell
Some of the hardest times for me are during these down times where I am trying to figure out what is next. I am a person who likes to channel my efforts, discipline and energy into a project I believe in because this is where I know I thrive and function best. What do you do though when you don't see clearly what is next? Or worse, you don’t have the energy needed to go after what could be next?
I realize as hard as it may be for me, at times I do need to stop doing and simply be. The only way to achieve this is to fall back and conduct temporary retreats. As much as I may initially hate this idea, I know I have to take some time out occasionally for my health and sanity. I know I need to rest to gain a fresh perspective and to refocus. The way culture is structured and the way we have been conditions to live has not been designed for our benefit. I need to detox from the current culture, social pressures, and other people’s behavioral toxins. When I do retreat, I am no longer distracted by these cultural influences and I can start to think clearly. It is not easy for me because I am so used to the non-stop, go-go-go mentality, but it has to be done. It is in these times I am able to rest.
During these times, I focus on God through my faith. I seek God to gain new perspectives by asking Him to clarify things for me. I ask Him to show me what I am not able to see. New insight always adds new perspective. New perspective is rejuvenating and humbling. Sometimes, because I am so worn down I can only pray through my sighs, groaning and exhaustion. For those who only have groans and are people of faith, know that you are being prayed for and God does welcome this as the simplest form of prayer.
Romans 8:26 - And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
Sometimes the best way to keep fighting is to stop and be still. If you are reading this and do not want to slow down or rest, I get it because I still fight this notion too at times. I do realize in my humility however, that when this fight occurs, most often it is my pride getting the better of me. I need to not allow my pride to get in the way just because I built this reputation of always being busy, always being productive, and always being a mover and shaker. Trying to keep this false perception up is the best way to burn out. There is no shame in taking a temporary retreat in an effort to come back stronger than before. I now know I can use this downtime of not knowing what is next and play it to my advantage by praying, conducting self-reflections, resting and just by being. Peace, a clear mind and an open heart will attract what's next and it can be welcomed with ease when I am focused and well rested.
Talk soon & God bless,