It’s been a quiet morning and a slow morning. I’ve come to realize how sacred my weekend time is to me—that I don’t need to get out and do, do, do all the time—it actually means much more to me to be still—to relax, to do nothing.
The art of doing nothing—ah yes, indeed.
My life has slowed down considerably since my mom’s death. I find that trying to “pack it all in” does little more than exhaust me and wear me out. I have limited energy, and I want to devote that energy to things and people and endeavors that truly matter and that are in line with my values.
As part of an assignment for a class I’m taking, I’ve been noodling with different phrases and words that can help bring me back into focus when I’ve lost it. And since I’ve done a lot of work around taking care of my body lately, I wanted to come up with a specific phrase around that.
I woke up yesterday with a specific word in my head, and I related it to taking care of my body. That word was “abide.”
I knew, loosely, what it meant. But looking it up was actually powerful, because I found new meanings for it. The word goes deeper than what most people assume.
Google’s definition for abide is: “to accept or act in accordance with.”
But I found a webpage with three additional and powerful deeper meanings, and I wanted to share:
“When we abide in something, we are loyal to it even unto death.”
“To abide means to continue doing whatever is being done even when it is hard and the urge to quit is almost too much.”
“…to cling to something and have faith in it, even when it seems to have failed.”
When I read that last one, I wept. How many times have I given up on my body, because it failed me? Or because I failed it?
How many times have I given up on myself, because I failed? How many times have I given up on something—anything—because that was the quickest way out? Because the urge to quit was intense, and it won?
My whole self is made up of a very important team: my body, my heart, my mind, and my soul. I need all of my team members to be on the same page. So that means paying attention—asking and listening—in the quiet stillness of my most private moments.
God is part of my team, too—and the quietest moments are usually when I hear Him speak directly to me.
We have conversations then.
We laugh and cry together, and I am reminded that I am His precious child, and what I perceive as failure or shortcomings—He perceives as learning.
Learning, that is, to be more like Him…
And so, in my learning to take care of myself the way that He wants, I came up with a phrase that resonates deeply with me:
My body tells me what it needs, and I abide.