“Jesus went off with his disciples to the sea to get away…. He had healed many people, and now everyone who had something wrong was pushing and shoving to get near and touch him.”
The weekly pattern seems to repeat itself over and over: Monday through Friday working, reacting to client demands, dealing with grouchy vendors, trying to squeeze in time to exercise, time for friends, time for my spouse and children, time to pay bills and do the endless chores squeaking to get done around the house.
By the time the weekend comes, I’m numb with a what-the-heck-just-hit-me feeling. My mind ends up disconnected from my heart; like an over-used microwave, I feel zapped, short-circuited, empty, not knowing what to think or feel anymore because my brain has been fried. And when I do have time to relax and sit in the quiet, instead of trying to find a way to reconnect with myself, I fill the time with more work to avoid feeling the deadness inside of me—the numbness that chills me to the bone.
So, how do we re-connect with our souls when the din of our weekly work and life in the ditches has wrapped our minds and hearts up in knots?
For me, I have to unplug. Turn off the cell phone and Wi-Fi, the television and radio, the I-phone and land phone. I have to find a place for an hour, a day or a couple of days, where I can say to the world and myself: nobody can make one more demand on me, at least for as long as I am here in this space.
And when I find that oasis, that peaceful place, I sit in the quiet listening—listening for God knows what might arise inside of me, listening to my soul.
When I first unplug and take the time to sit and listen, my mind knee-jerks into action, it wants to pull me back up out of my chair, answer the emails that just flooded my phone, read a book, surf the net, anything to avoid the endless chatter and numbness I have to feel first before I can move through the wave of distraction to get back to the inside of me, to reconnect with my soul.
If I gently push past my mind’s invitation to distract myself, I find it happens: my heart and mind start talking to each other again. I start asking the important questions that are nagging me. Questions, like, How do I find more balance in my life? Who am I? Why do I do what I do every day? Am I making any difference in the world?
And when I listen long enough, I begin to hear answers to my life, not in any audible way that would cause others to question my sanity, but rather in words and images, simple truths that rise up from my belly like gentle breathe flowing through a flute.
Through this unplugging, I become unplugged. I open up again. The wisdom keeper within me finds the space to reconnect my mind with my heart and body. I find my voice. And then the words and images, the simple truths I rediscover, begin to work their way back into my life.
Call it what you may: prayer, meditation, contemplation, it is simply a reconnecting with my soul; a remembering who I am and where I came from; an invitation to become more fully human while I live my life in these ditches.
Game Plan: Notice when you feel numb, when the demands of your work and relationships have drained you. Instead of responding to the numbness with more distractions, try finding a time and space to unplug; to reconnect with your soul. Find your oasis. Then notice what happens.
(For more reflections to make it a better day, you’re invited to visit: www.pillarsofsteel.org.)