Monday, January 23, 2017

Resting is the Hardest Work!

I'm a perfectionist...and an overachiever...and an INTJ.  The combination of all these things makes me a competitive, productive, high-achieving person, but it also makes me an anxious, OCD, stressball.  After years and years of a high stress life working full-time, homeschooling, managing a blended household with 6 children and all the other day to day things (moving, financial stressors, family issues, etc.) that everyone faces, I crashed, and I mean crashed hard.  Autoimmune issues likely related to adrenal fatigue caused a health crisis a couple of years ago that brought me to a screeching halt.  I've slowly been working towards restoring all aspects of my life and health since then. 

One thing I've learned about myself is that I have a very unhealthy perspective about rest that seems to be very deeply ingrained and difficult to untangle.  I feel like I have to do a herculean amount of work before I have "earned" rest, and the amount of rest I earn is not anywhere close to the amount of work that's been done.  If I feel like I'm resting "too much" then I start unhealthy self talk about being lazy which results in pushing myself harder and resting less.  My head understands on some level that rest isn't "earned" it's freely given and necessary to be better for myself and my family, but unfortunately, I have trouble accepting this at my very core. 

I have spent lots of time talking to myself, talking to others, praying, and trying to "unlearn" decades of bad habits and "stinkin' thinkin'."  Some days I do better than others, but I continue to improve.  One of the biggest moments of clarity I had was talking to a dear friend who gets how hard "resting" can be for me.  She shared a new perspective that made me laugh, but also gave me a new goal to shoot for. She said that since I am competitive by nature and love setting goals and working toward them, that I should become the "best rester of all!"  Don't you love it?!

That became my new mantra.  When I found myself starting to  to lapse into old habits, I'd remind myself that it was important work...the hardest work...and I'm not afraid of work, so I shift and begin thinking about how to become the "Best Rester!"  I celebrate days where I listen to my body and slow down, sleep more, and choose to rest body, mind, and spirit.  There's still a lot of work to do, but I'm a hard worker, so I know I'll get there!