We have been talking a lot about rest. More specifically, RESTorative Rest and how we step into it well. But what happens when Rest becomes too hard to engage and we find ourselves making up any excuse to avoid it? Even though I know the many benefits of RESTorative Rest, there are times when I would rather clean the floor with a toothbrush (at least it feels productive, right?) rather than make the space to rest. Why is this?
Learning to be honest about why we avoid rest will help us honor our individual journeys and stop the sabotaging.
Here are 2 reasons why RESTorative Rest can be challenging and why we may be working so hard to avoid it:
1-RESTING BRINGS UP OUR HEART LONGING
When we step into RESTorative Rest alone with our thoughts, it brings up our deep heart longings. This is particularly hard when we are faced with the incongruence of how we are currently living and how our heart truly longs to live. When the two don’t match up, it can be disheartening. And we avoid facing it. Human nature avoids until our pain becomes heartbreakingly uncomfortable. Ouch.
This was the topic of our conversation with a woman recently. She had been working hard at being intentional with her rest, but it had only made her feel worse. Bummer. I know this feeling.
Stepping into our rest and being faced with unmet longing is hard. Many of us take great pains to avoid it. But being kind to ourselves and giving gentle attention to our heart longing will allow it to surface so we can begin to explore what we truly want. As our longing emerges, we can learn how to authentically find ways to address what we need.
With this woman, she realized that her heart was not really longing to start a business, but rather have a closer friendship with her husband. (Wow. It surprised us both. I love it when we let our hearts speak and we take the time to listen.)
The key to stepping into heart longing is learning to Trust. Trusting our self…trusting the journey…and trusting God. This allows us to take the steps we need to move forward.
2-RESTING SURFACES HARD QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS
Rest can also be hard when we are faced with challenging questions. What job do I want? What should I say to this person? What is my purpose? Why is God so silent? Where do I want to pursue my passion? How am I doing as a parent, friend, spouse? These are just some examples of hard questions for which the answers may be elusive. When we know the answers are not easily in front of us, we can tend to avoid the hard question. And when resting surfaces the hard question…we avoid the rest. It’s all connected.
Recently, a woman was telling me about her avoidance of having a hard conversation with a friend. Why? The panic was paralyzing as she grappled with how to say what needed to be said. The question she feared asking was fairly simple….”What’s my plan?” Why didn’t she ask this? Because she was couldn’t think of an answer. Therefore, the question terrified her. Once we asked the question and dared to sit in it together, we came up with a plan that worked for her. Her confidence and clarity increased, as she felt prepared and secure in next steps.
Here’s a warning worth mentioning: Once faced with unmet longing or hard questions, we can be tempted to fill our lives with distractions that keep us from feeling the pain of a lost dream or disappointment about how life has worked out for us. We stay busy, overindulge, work harder….anything so we don’t have to deal with the deep longing of our hearts. But this only keeps us stuck and unfulfilled.
Finding true fulfillment requires kind and honest conversations about heart longings and hard questions.
Reminding ourselves that ‘questions without answers’ and ‘heart longings’ are important to acknowledge will help us trust the journey and take the pressure off to find solutions. Sometimes this is a solo journey, and sometimes it is meant to do in relationship. Regardless, inviting in Divine support to be apart of directing next steps also reminds us that we are not alone. There is a Loving Presence waiting to guide our journey and provide us with the answers we desire. This allows us to relax just a bit and find the courage we need to sit in the question, and in the longing…trusting the answers will emerge.
My heart is with you and for you,
P.S. E-course coming soon on Resting and its association with increasing clarity! Check in here for more info!