slowing down, finding peace in a pew

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a lesson in comparison

I have such a hard time being still. When I am still I can’t ignore the truth of how I am. I can’t drown out the nagging voice inside my head when there is no other sound to distract me.

I didn’t realize until I sat down and was forced to be slow just how exhausted I am.

Sitting in church, the pew firm behind my back, good friends, eyes closed in prayer.

The creak of the old floor boards, fwap fwap of an elderly lady fanning herself in the sticky September heat, dust glittering in the air as it floats by. Sunshine, sneaking through stain glass windows, displayed on old wooden floors.

Sweat trickled down my back as the silence fell thick around me. I have been running around like crazy, saying yes to everything and everyone, pretending to be some schedule superhero. Being human, this meant that things started falling through the cracks – meetings, meaningful conversations, appointments, cooking,rest, enjoying (anything).

I began to act differently. Snapping at my family, making excuses for my absences, being selfish in my relationships. I turn into the worst version of my self when I stop actually tuning into how I am and who I am and what I need.

 

I began to realize after high school that I had  begun to believe that my needs didn’t matter matter – that I should push myself, perform, always look good and have it all together. It didn’t matter if I was frayed and beaten down inside.

Taking time for myself meant I was being selfish and needy and not truly giving myself to others. While there is a balance between the two, all I felt was guilt whenever I had to stop or slow down.

Well-meaning friends encouraged me to be selfless and to put others above myself at a time where I needed someone to sit down next to me and tell me that it was okay if I needed to nap or have a night in instead of taking on one more job, one more task.

This nagging feeling that I’m somehow not living up to my full potential or that I’m letting people down slips into my everyday life. And it’s truly impossible to every feel “done” in a situation. There is always something more, something better, something new to do. Which means there are ample opportunities to look at myself and see room for improvement.

Imagine the mini tug-of-war that goes on in my head when I feel that I’m lacking and need to do more, yet am so overwhelmed and mentally done.

Do you struggle with these feelings? I haven’t found an answer or an easy formula for how to hold healthy boundaries in my life when it comes to self-worth and still being selfless. But what that early morning in the late heat of summer reminded me is that when I’m too rushed and over-whelmed and pushing myself at every step of the day, then no wonder that I lose my focus and turn into the ugly version of Reeve.

What does this look like in an every-day sort of way? Making sure I have at least five quiet, short minutes everyday where I don’t have to do anything except be.

What have you found helps you to slow down and tune into your self? Is it hard to find the balance between loving others and loving yourself? I’d love to hear!

xoxo

Reeve
(photo)

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Lovelies, I'd be so happy if you joined in the conversation with me!