At 3 a.m., I sit and truly wonder why I do some of the things that I do. After a long work week, and after only about four hours of sleep last night, I woke to begin enjoying the rest. Weekends are my time to reset, refuel and actually be okay with not staying busy. Being “okay” with the rest is something that took a while for me to allow into my life. Ever since I was a teenager, I had to keep going in one way or another. By the grace of God, I am learning the value of true relaxation.
It is not only the rest of the physical, but the mental that I have learned to appreciate and practice. When I was younger, the physical would recover at a much quicker pace that it tends to now, and the mental, unfortunately, never seemed to. My mental state back then was never dealt with. From the time I was a child until the time I was, I’d say, in my early thirties, I had no rest when it came to mental relaxation. Of course, this is my personal definition of what I am calling mental relaxation, for everyone is different. For me, not dealing with the truths of my mental state had me far from repose, and more in the direction of disturbance. The swirl of thoughts, emotions and fears would leave me completely drained of my ability to, “turn off”. Restless nights (for MANY years), caffeine-fueled days and agitation throughout, was the norm. No rest — night or day. When the mind wouldn’t shut off, the body wouldn’t either. When the mind was too busy, the waking hours seemed, many times, to be disorganized and more of a chore than they had to be. But, that is anxiety. Anyone who knows anything about anxiety can relate.
I am on a couple of medications for anxiety. After many doctors had dealt with my symptoms, they put together a great combination that works for me. Also, since my mind has slowed down with their aid, I have a greater opportunity to learn how to manage my mind. Medications are not a quick fix, as some see them as, but are often times what is needed to aid in balancing the mind. I personally know, from many years of experience, that both of my parents had psychological issues. My father, especially. Unfortunately, he was never medicated, and I don’t believe he really ever learned how to manage — or recognized — his problem. Yes, it was a problem. It rubbed off on me. I inherited it, and it went far beyond the learned behaviors. I do believe many of the symptoms I have seen in myself are hereditary. I’ve seen far too much of my father in my natural self over the years, and much of that natural has been destructive, not only to myself, but also others. My mother also had her own set of issues, but she has recently recognized them and is dealing with it.
Management and balance are beautiful things. If I truly think about it, they both come into play in nearly every aspect of life. Mental, physical, spiritual — it all needs management and balance. I believe it is one of the greatest virtues, for anyone, to learn how to manage and balance the mental, physical and spiritual. I’m learning how. I can honestly say it’s an ever-evolving process, and worth every fluctuation. Without the rise, their is no fall. Without a fall, there is no lesson to be learned in order to rise again. Embracing the process is essential. Learning how to balance — like staying on the tightrope during a hurricane — is good management.
So, I’m up early. Relaxing. Taking in the fact that I didn’t get much rest, and being just fine with it. I’m not uneasy about anything, like I would have been if I would have been up after four hours of sleep when I was younger. The mind is much different now. Although, I will never take for granted this success I have. It could change at anytime. Traumas will come. Victories may cease. They could throw me into a spiral. Hopefully, I will be able to catch them early before they take me into the patterns of my past.
I didn’t get much physical rest, but that’s okay. I can go back to bed. There’s no work to be done. But, my mind is at ease.
I pray this morning, in the name of Jesus, that you all learn to balance and manage. I pray that you are able to rest, both physically and mentally.