I’m reading this book right now and it is wrecking my life. I haven’t finished it, and it may end terribly. But all I know is that 7 chapters in, it resonates with so much of my soul. (If you get it, get the audio version. You’ll be glad you did.)
The book (so far) mainly talks about slowing down, saying “NO”, a word I mainly only use with my kids. It’s about finding rest, something I would say I’m good at, but, as the author describes, it is fake rest. It’s staying in pajamas – and cleaning my house. It’s going on vacation and doing necessary reading. It doesn’t feed the things I need inside in order to live at my true best.
Last night, after Kirk and I said our goodnights, I took a deep breath and turned to go to sleep and found myself stifling a sob that had welled up. I realized how effortlessly I did it, and had a series of emerging flashbacks of how often it happened. I asked Kirk about it – is this something that everyone has? This weird well of sadness trying to get out?
In the chapter I read today, the author was describing the busyness that was her life, and how it fed things in her. It brought to mind how much I love saying YES to everything. Yes!! to that playdate, that dinner party, that activity, that book to read, that trip. And, as an extrovert, I do love those things, usually. But I also use those things. They are my drug of choice. The thrill of ticking off my to-do-list, the high of being able to meet someones need, the deep feeling of self worth when its only nine in the morning and I’ve worked out, dinner is prepped and all the kids have started schoolwork. The busyness numbs things that I don’t even know are hurting, so much that I don’t even notice that any needs are there and couldn’t even tell you what they are. Like a sci-fi movie, where a seemingly innocuous experiment has an unknown byproduct of mounting electrostatic or creating some crazy evil creature, my busyness has grown into a well of emotions that only barely peeks its head out during my day’s last conscious breaths. I use drugs. The drugs of busyness, of accomplishment, of accolades, of check marks.
It needs to stop. Not simply because I will eventually burn myself into oblivion, and not just because as I speed along on the race I am on alone that I am missing things that are more precious. But because I deserve to be loved, by me. I deserve to be enough, for myself. I deserve the deep knowledge that God made me unique and wonderful and that He wants me to enjoy being me. Be still, He says. Know that I am God, not you, this weight doesn’t rest on you, things will not fall apart without you, He says.
So, here is my confession. My name is Kymberly, and I am an addict. It has been… well, technically, I brushed off my oldest child in my burning need to write this, so exactly zero minutes since the last time I got high on accomplishment. Today, I plan to say no to some housework and some schoolwork and some of you. And tonight, I expect it will feel a little harder to keep that electrostatic buildup of emotion at bay. But it needs to come out, eventually. Because there will be no true rest until that is used up, and I’m empty and everything is still ok. Wish me luck.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28