Well, Happy New Year all! I know it’s February, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted and I haven’t had the pleasure of sharing those words with many of you. I hope all has been well in your lives and for those struggling today (with Lupus or any other autoimmune condition) I hope today’s post brings you some life and encourages you to tackle your day in the best way possible–for you!
Flashback to several months ago…I vividly remember sitting with a colleague and casually sharing my satisfaction and frustration with the current state of my life. “Everything is going so well!” I said. “Honestly, all of my relationships–between friends, family, AND my boyfriend are in a positive space! Work is going well…my students are so amazing this year! I haven’t been forced to visit the hospital in some time, so I guess my Lupus has been under wraps. I picked up dance and absolutely love it! I can see my body changing and strengthening each day! Spiritually, I’ve been spending more time with God. I’ve been speaking to him throughout the day and investing in my spiritual growth through his word–just me and him…”
“Well I’m confused,” she replied. “It sounds like you have every reason to be satisfied….where is the frustration coming from?”
I blurted out: “…The utter exhaustion!” I proceeded to share that while I was so happy about how well I was doing in every aspect of my life at the moment, I felt like I was going to physically–and perhaps mentally–break at any moment. It takes a lot to be 100% for 100% of the areas of your life.
She watched me silently for a few seconds and responded with one of the most enlightening statements of wisdom I’ve had the privilege to receive (be prepared–it does sound sort of cheesy): “A wise woman once told me, ‘to be balanced is to be unbalanced.'” At the quick diversion of my eyes, she saw my confusion. “What I mean is, it’s impossible for you to give 100% of yourself to EVERY aspect of your life and still feel 100%. You must find a balance and prioritize in order of importance. For example, think of the 3 most important areas of your life at this stage: work, family, and outside relationships. Imagine that it’s an intense time at work and there are a lot of deadlines approaching. Perhaps right now your focus should be work, so you give 70% of yourself to work, 15% to family, and the other 15% to your outside relationships. Later down the road work eases up…now you have more time to relax. Now you can switch things up a bit…maybe you give 20% to work, 50% to family, and 30% to outside relationships. The point is that everyone isn’t going to always get all of you–it’s impossible for you to feel content when this is happening. In order for life to truly be enjoyable, you have to prioritize in order of importance based on where you are in life.”
Her words really stuck with me. Not only did it help me be more realistic about the number of things I can add to my calendar and check off my to-do list each day, but it also gave me more realistic expectations of what I can expect from others in my life based on their priorities and where they are in life.
Flash forward to this morning (February 11, 2018). The TV has turned to black (I fell asleep watching Wonder Woman) so my room is nice and dark. It’s raining and the sounds made by mother nature are beyond soothing. It’s fairly early so I have some time to maybe do some yoga, invest in some reading, or maybe even post on my blog…reading won. I sifted through my Kindle and came across The Resolution for Women–30% complete. With shame, I opened up to the last page read and turned–“Boxes”. Who would’ve thought that this chapter would bring me back to that conversation several months ago?!
Shirer discusses an encounter she has with an amazing woman of God who brings her 4 clear boxes, all filled with a blue clear liquid. They’re all filled to capacity. She’d just finished sharing a similar feeling as my own, months ago–she was so happy with how well everything was going in her life, yet feeling so overwhelmed by it all. The woman shared that those blue liquid-filled boxes represented the different aspects of Shirer’s life–each full to the lid. She then proceeded to say that we are not meant to function this way. “Balance is not when the boxes are equally filled but when we are free to fill only those that are important for now, without feeling guilt over the ones that we’ve left for another time and place. This is balance, little sister. Remember it.”
This was such a word for me this morning! It was a perfect reminder for me to take it easy and give what I can to who and what I can. Living in today’s society, many of us feel immense pressure to be perfect in all aspects of life which is an entirely unrealistic expectation–for most of us at least. I encourage you–and myself–to be okay with leaving some tasks, activities, and people alone today (maybe even this week, month, or year) and focusing on His priority for your life, at this stage of your life. As my pilates instructor would say, “Just as you are, you are enough.” Be blessed guys!
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