I tried posting several times but my mind wouldn't cooperate. It still isn't, so I decided to let my fingers do the walking - let my mind do the talking.
The other night I was restless, unable to sleep, so took a leisurely walk through some blogs, the majority of them being new to me. I wasn't looking for any particular thing but what I found really saddened me. I went through about thirty or so blogs, and every single one of the writers said things like:
"Life is crazy, a merry-go-round I can't seem to get off of."
"I keep waiting for things to get better. They don't. All that happens is that the work keeps piling up, I'm getting more worn out, and our family is falling apart."
"I can't think straight any more, have lost my point of focus."
"Where did it go wrong? This isn't the way it was supposed to turn out."
Reading these statements saddened my heart because I can relate. It wasn't that long ago that I said things like that, felt like that. Though reading them made me a little sad, what they said didn't come as a surprise. Life these days isn't what it was when I grew up; it was a quieter, more peaceful world back then; less hectic- definitely more safe.
I was talking to a friend not long ago, who was commenting on how hectic her life was, how she so desperately missed the way it was when she was a kid. I told her we can't become kids again, but we can quiet our life a great deal, can regain some of the inner peace and quietness of mind too.
"And how?" she asked, do I do that?"
"It's simple." I said. "We do it by listening." I'm smiling while typing out this part, imagining what some of you may be thinking, or asking yourselves, after reading that. I know it sounds simplistic, way to easy to work. If that's what you're thinking, dear ones, it's wrong. It isn't easy, but hard, and does work.
Just think about it for a minute. Life is full of noise. We wake up to it, go to sleep to it, grocery shop to it. It's almost impossible to find quiet. But if we want to be able to cope with the stress that confronts us each day, we have to be able to BE STILL, to be still in mind, as well as in heart.
Listening is an art. Truly! It isn't something we're born knowing how to do. It's something we have to learn, something that takes practice. All around us, even midst the loud, annoying sounds, are sounds pleasant to our ears, the sounds we usually pay no mind too, yet these are the very sounds that can get us back on track. I'm talking about silence- the loudness of it. You see, in order to learn how to listen, you start with listening to silence, and that is extremely hard to do.
Try it. As soon as you decide to remain quiet, to simply listen, you want to fill it up with conversation, with noise, with thoughts, with distractions. You have to teach yourselves to resist that impulse. In silence you can listen to your heartbeat, can dream great dreams, can better hear that which God would tell you.
Learning to listen, to shut out life's noises and demands has been one of the things that has helped me the most in life. When I take that hour a day for myself, just focus on nothing but my senses: what the chair I'm sitting on feels like beneath me, how smooth the spoon that holds my favorite yogurt, how warm the sun on a cold winter day, the song the leaves in a tree sing when a breeze passes through, I can feel the stress rolling off of me.
Listen means: To take notice of- to pay attention to.
We don't notice much of anything when when both hands and minds are focused on our IPads, Smart phones, computers, video games, television. If we're honest, even when we're visiting with people our minds are not always focused on what they're saying.
You'd be surprised at just how much additional stress we put upon ourselves by the things we tell ourselves too. I long ago deleted the sentences "I have too," I must," and " I should" from my vocabulary. Using them, I came to realize caused me to have unrealistic expectations of myself. Deleting them enabled me to move through life at a much slower, more comfortable pace, allowed me to still aim high, but accept my limitations. Try it. You may like it.
My apologies for taking so long to post. This post has taken quite awhile to finish since I'm still having to use just one finger, which is why I'm about to cut it short. It's still painful.
Thank you all for praying for the healing of my hands. They have a ways to go but I do think..truly hope, they'll be better soon.
Have an awesome day, everybody.