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Permission to Rest

I haven’t I’ve written in months, and the reasons are complex. Mostly it’s because I believe that allowing our “gut feelings” to direct our actions is critical to our mental and emotional health.

When I write, I write from a very vulnerable place inside me, and that vulnerable place has been rubbed raw by painful events over the last year. So, whenever the idea that I *should* write would creep into my mind, my gut would literally ball up in a mix of anxiety and nausea – a sure signal that I was trying to force something that wasn’t right for my wellbeing at the moment.

I needed to metaphorically wrap that raw place in a soft bandage and allow her more time to heal before expecting her to expose herself again, and trust that she would tell me when she was ready.

You see, honoring where we are emotionally at any given point is the most powerful form of self-love.

As a culture, we are taught from a very young age to be strong, to power through, to hold it together when we’re falling apart inside, prove ourselves, produce, create, strive and conquer.

We learn to silence that authentic voice inside that might be whispering (or screaming) for us make a different choice or slow down or reject a certain option altogether. We fear that backing off, even for a few days, means we’re weak; that passing on an exciting opportunity that just doesn’t feel right to us means we’re ungrateful or lazy.

Regardless of how raw we feel inside, “The show must go on” and all that…

I want to share another perspective today:

Perhaps honoring that “rawness” we feel inside by passing on things that don’t feel right at the moment, no matter how exciting or how many of our friends are doing whatever it is… perhaps having the self-love and self-respect to say “no”… the self-love and self-respect to stop moving, stop striving, and give our bodies and souls the rest and soft bandages they need IS a sign of strength.

It is.

Going against all we are culturally taught to do – the striving, the constant producing (“Let’s go lazy bones, you’re wasting time…”), the attempts to prove our worth… going against that messaging takes tremendous strength.

Resting is not weak. Resting is powerful.

Listening to what WE need in any given moment, regardless of what others think or what society expects, takes massive strength of character and boat loads of love and respect for ourselves.

And so I haven’t written for months. Until now. Because that raw place inside me has received what she needed, and I can FEEL that she’s now eager, she’s now ready to contribute again in her own small way. Slowly, on her own timeline, listening to and respecting what she needs every step of the way.

Sometimes the strongest thing we can do is stop and listen to that quiet voice inside that knows what WE need… and do that. For as long as it takes.

Xx Jen

If you know someone who needs to hear this today, please share this with her.

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