This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.
~ The Book of Common Prayer
Man, is it really freaking hard to just sit still and be quiet or – God forbid – lie low and DO NOTHING …or what?! I mean, teaching meditation and yoga is part of what I do for a living and I still struggle with getting my butt on a mat. Why do you think that is? I suppose it is really for a variety of reasons. For instance, most of us are achievement junkies. We are addicted to the act of doing something… anything because doing has become the golden ruler by which we all define ourselves. What’s the question most often asked when you meet someone new, “So, what do you do?” And most often we launch into some diatribe about what we do to earn a living.
But why? Well, I am starting to suspect that all this doing is really just our way of digging. We are all digging as fast and furiously as we can in order to the fill the gigantic gaping hole inside of us. A hole caused by a wound from our childhood or a heartbreak or our own self-abandonment. A wound. Most of us just staying busy so that we can avoid feeling…. almost anything. We eat, drink, shop, spend and work our way into oblivion.
We are all so terrified of actually feeling our emotions. Largely because we are once again buying into one of The Five Lies. But also because as a society we are sorely lacking in faith. We have lost our connection to a something greater than us that loves and takes care of us and wants us to be happy.
And the irony is that disconnection from the Divine is the real cause of our gaping hole. When we long for something more or when we feel like we can’t handle the stress at work or our crazy kids, it is because we have stopped believing in ourselves. We have stopped believing in God. It’s easy to have faith on Sunday mornings or at Christmas. But it’s when the shit hits the fan that we really need to lean into our faith…but that’s when it’s the hardest to do.
And so we shop and spend and eat and drink and do whatever we can to fill the hole. To stay the emotions that we are afraid will consume us if we ever allowed them to surface. Those emotions are the real reason why we are afraid to be still. And yet that is exactly what we need to do. Myself included. That’s why I have made a solid commitment to myself to meditate and practice yoga every morning.
I also read aloud the quote above from the Book of Common Prayer. My favorite part is, “And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.” I think we could all stand to do a lot more of nothing and do it gallantly.
For Your Journal:
- Do you find it hard to sit still? Why?
- What are your favorite ways to avoid your feelings? (i.e. over eating/drinking, working, shopping)
- When do you find yourself the most stressed out? What do you say to yourself in those moments?
- How would it feel to meditate more often?