Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Badge of Busy-ness

“Be gentle with yourself.  Be gentle with yourself.”

I heard it over and over as I entered consciousness from a restless night of sleep.

The sun was beginning to show itself after it’s own evening of re-charging and it was becoming brighter and fuller.

I was not mimicking such energy in my own awakening.  My eyelids felt like 10 pound sandbags trying to be lifted by a mere pinky finger…gravity is winning.  And I am losing.

“But, be gentle with yourself,” I hear the small voice within cry out for it’s own attention.  Am I to treat myself with kid gloves?  Why do I keep hearing the same thing?

Could it be that I am not listening?  That I am moving too quickly…saying ‘yes’ when I should be saying ‘no’?

How do I change the automated response of ‘yes’ to the perceived selfish reply of ‘no’?

My life has been spent trying to earn the honorable badge of busy-ness.  In my community and in my childhood home, there was a distinguished identity associated with a full plate of responsibilities.

From a young age, I began to correlate busy with worthy.  I viewed someone who was “on the go” as important and valuable. 

I created a script – a story in my head - based on the belief that in order to be a person of influence and prominence, I had to say ‘yes’ to everyone and every opportunity.  I had to be of service to others whenever I was asked…and that it is selfish to say ‘no’ to someone.  It is selfish to not care for others when you have been taken care of so well.

This story line runs deep.  Parts of this story are generational.  I could have possibly been mimicking what I watched my sweet mother do so often and so well – serve others.  How could she not have with the name of Mary Martha?

In her service of others, I watched her stay up late completing promises of baked goods for a church gathering.  I saw her up before the sun to prepare us for school, when we should have been independent in that task.  I saw her live with no boundaries around her own time and our family time.  She ran on empty so often.

And here I sit.  Having just celebrated 44 years of amazing existence on this earth and I realized I am close to being depleted.

I have justified my hectic and active calendar for the last several years because I believe I have finally found my sweet-spot in life. 

I love my life – I love my family – I love my work.  I love the opportunities I have been given in serving our military members and their families.  I love being a witness to and a guide assisting individuals and couples on their journeys.  I love the opportunities I have to share what I have learned, professionally and personally.

I have a crazy amazing life.  I’m overwhelmed when I reflect on the pieces of my puzzle.  The pieces are so beautiful individually and I cannot believe all these blessings are creating my life.  MY life.

{Let me just pause in complete awe of the Divine…my heart is full of gratitude for these gifts of people, talents, and opportunities.}

BUT - Here’s my conundrum – How do I remove this Badge of Busy-ness that has implied such honor?  I have worked diligently to earn this and now I should just rip it off?  Tear it off of my soul’s work?

If I have heard the message of the importance of self-care once in the last two months, I can assure you I’ve heard it well over 4 dozen times.  Yes, almost daily – in a devotional, on a video, from a loved one, at church, in a seminar and…ummm, ironically, I’ve actually taught it to others.

I am beginning to acknowledge the importance.  I am contemplating what self-care would look like in my life.  By exploring new boundaries to preserve time and space for self-care, I am seeking to honor myself and those I love and care for.

I am seeking to be gentle with myself as I experience the pain and guilt of relinquishing this Badge of Busy-ness.

I am seeking balance.  That is the badge I want to earn.  The Badge of Balance.

Believe. Create. Live.

 

© 2015 Rebecca G. Townsend