After a year of 'hard use', surrender to rest

Thought Cookie: Edition 15: Vol. 2

261 Words of This and That

We are all tired. Tired in a new way. Tired like never before. I’ve been musing on the feeling of tired for the last week or so. Observing it. In my observation, I have come to believe the last year has made work more tiring, and living more tiring. One definition of tired is, “obviously worn by hard use.” Yes. The last year and a half has certainly constituted hard use. Our minds, our bodies, our sight, our souls...all have been subject to hard use. And still we plod on, taking the eight meetings a day, wearing the mask, dropping the kids off at school, fighting the social justice fights. Continuing. And, in honest moments, sharing with people we love, with ourselves, how tired we are. It reminds me of when my babies were young. Both were energetic children, thrilled by social activities and playing. They would play and play, not recognizing the eventual fatigue as a sign of their tiredness. Instead, their sweet, compact bodies would grow restless, their muscles tight and they would take to whining, twisting away from me, refusing strongly what they needed most -- to rest. Often the only effective way to still them would be to capture them into a firm embrace they at first resisted, but eventually relented to, and found rest. I wish we all had a loving presence to wrap arms around our rattling souls, embrace us, and allow our deep fatigue to ease as we drift off to a restorative sleep. Rest, the counterbalance to tired, requires us to surrender.

  • Reminder from the soul of truth: Rest requires surrender. Before we can truly rest, we must surrender to our fatigue.

  • Takeaway: Perhaps, in your practice, you can connect to the image of the firm, loving embrace of peace, making room to release fatigue. If you can connect, what happens to your body, your mind, your heart as you do? If not, I wonder: what is your version of rest? 

Inspiring morsel

One of the hosts of one of the podcasts I listen to frequently recently shared a tidbit her therapist had shared with her. It caught my attention and inspired some introspection. Her therapist often reminded her: Change always brings with it loss. As humans, many of us cast our sights on the positive angles of change. We ascribe future happiness to this change or that -- more time, more money, more travel, more love. But we forget that change always brings with it some form of loss. This is actually a freeing idea if we can remember as we go through change, loss will also be our companion, and make room for it on the journey.

From my bookshelves

My youngest daughter loves thrifting. When I take her, I head straight for the book section and see what jumps out at me. During our last visit, a book leaped from the shelves. It was this compilation of sacred poems, edited by Robert Bly. (So far it is astounding!) The first page I flipped to put me face-to-face with a woman who knew what it was like to quarantine. And this poem about reclaiming the sacred with us, which I had NEVER read before, sent my soul into orbit. I love Emily’s declaration: “I’ve stopped being Their’s'—”

I’m ceded---I’ve stopped being Their’s---

Emily Dickinson

I’m ceded---I’ve stopped being Their’s---

The name They dropped upon my face

With water, in the country church

Is finished using, now,

And They can put it with my Dolls,

My childhood, and the string of spools,

I’ve finished threading---too---

Baptized, before, without the choice,

But this time, consciously, of Grace---

Unto supremest name---

Called to my Full--The Crescent dropped---

Existence’s whole Arc, filled up,

With one small Diadem.

My second Rank---too small the first---

Crowned--Crowning---on my Father’s breast---

A half unconscious Queen---

But this time---Adequate---Erect,

With Will to choose, or to reject,

And I choose, just a Crown---

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Thought Cookie will be back in August when I will share another freshly-baked batch. In the meantime, thank you for returning, reading. If you’d like to ingest more of my writing, visit my full website.