(A girl can dream, it’s been a while since I took this photo in my favorite place.)
Last week, I experienced back to back days of feeling listless*. Which looks like being withdrawn and my spoken words slowly beginning to cease. I am grateful the two I live with gave me plenty of space to sort myself out or perhaps they welcomed the silence. I choose to believe the former. When those days strike, “trying harder” or being more productive doesn’t help. Even the activities I reached toward during the early days of this crisis aren’t helping as much as hoped. I wonder if many of those activities were simply a place card labeled in the meantime, a way to distract me and manage the unmanageable.
When my lethargy lifted, I noticed one thing in common with what has been key to anchoring me each day, connection.
Acts of connection are buoying my soul right now. I need to stay connected to God, others, and myself. It’s the holy trifecta of life, a life that will remain when everything feels shaky and fragile.
I plan to experiment the next time I feel an emotional wall starting to build. I am going to check to see what connection is missing or needs rewiring?
I hated the arm circles endured during P.E. classes. However, I am going to suggest an easier set of arm movements and questions to help assess these three vital connection points.
Reach up: I will lift my arms upward and ask:
Have I slowed down long enough to meet with God?
Does God feel distant?
Am I sharing with God my biggest fears or superficial chatter?
Have I spent time in nature?
Reach out: I will extend my arms out in front of me and ask:
Who have I spent time with this week outside of my housemates?
Am I lonely?
Am I missing someone?
Do I feel forgotten? Who might also feel forgotten?
How can I close the gap of distance with my loved ones?
Reach in: I will bend my elbows and place my crossed hands over my heart and ask:
How am I ignoring my body?
Have I taken a shower?
Am I taking good care of my body by eating well, drinking water?
Can I allow myself to bask while indulging without apologizing or criticizing myself?
Have I moved my body, dug in the dirt, laughed, taken a nap?
Am I holding my breath?
During these challenging times, we don’t need more items on a to-do list.
We need simple ways to connect with God, others, and ourselves. Whatever ways feel life-giving, rather than an obligation or a “should” is probably your answer. I could fulfill all three connection points in a day spent at the ocean, but that is not currently a simple way. So I will think again until one day the tide runs over my weary feet.
May we extend ourselves grace when we have off days.
May we not ignore what our bodies, minds, and moods are trying to tell us.
May we feel deeply connected to God, each other, and ourselves this week.
*What I experienced was situational and not long in duration. If you are experiencing prolonged lethargy or depression, please seek medical advice or help. Especially if you are not inhabiting a home with others.