I had a breakdown at the coffee machine yesterday morning. Uninvited grief came down hard, hefting its weight on my shoulders, causing me to lean on the counter with my elbows — quite a sight for my poor husband who just came in for his morning coffee.
We dutifully went to the polls or sent in our absentee ballots. We obediently mask up to go to the grocery store. Conscientiously, we stand 6’ apart. In the meantime, life is happening. The Kid isn’t turning in his assignments, the work calendar is filling up so fast you don’t have time to eat lunch at your desk, or worse, the money is dwindling, and you’re not sure what’s going to happen. Then the family pet dies. (Really?? Now??)
Seemingly out of the blue, you’re picking fights with your spouse, and everyone around you starts acting like a jerk. You’re yelling at the TV, and you’re losing your cool on the tennis court. (Or crying at the coffee maker.) You’ve reached your limit without even realizing it.
Our value system promotes hard work and perseverance, which leads us to “muscle through,” “dig deeper,” and “try harder.” I’m not sure that’s the answer to our current woes. We are tired. We are tired of politics, of the pandemic, of masks, of hand sanitizer, of social distancing, of financial insecurity, of the unknown.
When you’re tired, you rest. You take it easy.
When I’m teaching a yoga class, I see people pushing their bodies to relax a lot of times. If we want the muscles and facia to release, we have to let go and breathe deeply. Allow the exhale to linger a bit longer than the inhale. Signal to the body that everything is ok.
We can take this lesson into real life. Sometimes you have to hit pause and shift perspective. Instead of praying that God will do what you want Him to do, pray that His will be done.
Seek God. Seek Him in the fall leaves, in the gray sky. Seek Him in the lyrics of the song you hear on the radio, in the smile on your dog’s face. Seek God in holy texts, in the silence of your heart. Be still. Pay attention. When you earnestly look, God is there.
As I cried on my longsuffering husband’s shoulder yesterday morning, an old gospel tune came to my mind, “On Christ the solid Rock I stand/ all other ground is sinking sand.”
It doesn’t matter what your religious persuasion is because I’m not talking about religion. It doesn’t matter if God is real or a myth. What matters is your belief.
We all believe in something — whether you believe in the politicians, the science, the masks, hand-washing, etc. Whatever you believe in is something more significant than the individual.
The only thing that will truly refresh the soul is the belief in something Bigger than All of This. Bigger than the President, the pandemic, the social unrest. Bigger than the election. Bigger than limited thinking. We need a bigger God.
God, quiet my mind, give me peace. Shift my perspective to rest in your Goodness. Thy will, not mine, be done.
Just for today