Like many of you, I am an incredibly busy woman with more responsibilities than I could possibly imagine. While I don’t have children (and that is a story for another day), I do have a husband, family, friends, a full-time day job, a part-time evening job, and more hobbies and interests that you can shake a stick at. Some days, getting caught up in my world is like being inside a whirling vortex of chaos. Most of the time it is manageable, except when I get sick and forget to take care of myself.
With everything that I am involved in, I lose sight of the most important thing in my life – me. I lose the “clear vision” that I need in order to keep moving forward. I let everything around me dictate the way things are supposed to be instead of me being the one leading the way. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Proverbs 28:18. When there is no clear vision, my health suffers along with everything else.
Naturally, when illness slows us down, we get the chance to stop and reflect on the “who, what, where, when and how” of life. Who are we really? What do we want? Where are we going? When will we get there? How will we make it happen? Answering these questions gives us the chance to redirect ourselves back on the path that God wants us to be on; the path that we need to be on.
We need to remind ourselves to keep our visions clear. It’s not always about how much we can get done in the day; it’s about spending time with our children. It’s not always about volunteering for every committee; it’s about doing one thing to make a meaningful impact. It’s not about being the center of attention all the time; it’s about being the person to just listen when someone needs to talk.
When we are not feeling well, we tend to get discouraged and feel sorry for ourselves. We think of negative things to make us feel worse. It’s so easy to just put our heads down and kick ourselves. This is not the time for that. This is the time to step back and take the time to heal ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. This is the time to clear our visions, get focused and remember where we’re headed.
Forgetting to take care of myself may not have been the intent, but it sure has a way of slowing me down when the chaos of life gets too much. And that is what this is really all about. Life does get to be too much sometimes. Our focus gets blurred by all the activities, duties and responsibilities we place upon ourselves because we think that we have to put them there.
Granted there is a certain amount of responsibilities that we have to tend to, but the reality is a huge chunk of it is put there for no reason. We have to work to take care of ourselves, but beyond that everything else is a choice. So, what have we done? We’ve lost sight of the real goal. When circumstances are bleak and discouragement sets in, all looks lost, doesn’t it? It’s not though…not really. These are just moments that tempt us to lose our focus, and we just need to be reminded where we’re headed.
So the next time when illness strikes or when your vision becomes unclear, slow down, stop and rest. Don’t think, just be. Let yourself heal so that your energy will allow you to refocus and see the real goal. Because, ultimately, the path that God wants us to be on is one of physical, mental and spiritual wellness; and I think, this is the path that you want to be on too.