Sacred Rest

Sacred Rest January 19, 2023

‎Yesterday, I was showing Laura how there is a little more flexibility and strength in my arm. When you have a stroke, while the arm is immobile and before it starts to move a little, the shoulder gets very sore with any extra movement. Also to straighten out the arm or lift it up feels like there is a bungee cord attached to your muscles.

Little by little, with rehab and therapy, this shoulder begins to get a little more mobility and it works its way slowly down to the hand. Progress is very, very slow, and parts of it are painful. So, recently, since my insurance is not paying for therapy, I’ve been going to a gym and doing what I can.

For the first part of this week my body was very tired for some reason. So I spent about 4 days trying to just rest. So, for a person like me, it felt weird to be showing Laura some progress after I hadn’t “done anything” so far this week.

I learned early in life to work hard and follow that pattern for most of my life. Whatever deficiencies I thought I had, I knew I could overcome by showing up and doing the work. But the church and religion also played off of this belief. As I’ve said before, religion develops codependency and a mild addiction. When the high goes away, we learned to do more to get the same feeling.

Common counsel among religious people is that if something feels off or your spirituality is not working, you probably need to do more. More Bible study, church attendance, prayer, help the poor, etc.

I’m so glad that I’m being exposed to different types of spirituality that say to be still and listen, go inside, and rest Sometimes we need to let it come to us instead of making it happen.

I’ve written about some of my vacations, that turned into anything but a vacation. The itinerary ruled the adventure and made it anything but rest and relaxation.

Often there is hard work that needs to be done and it won’t get done by ignoring it. But just like my experience this week, we need to listen to our bodies and hear what our souls need.

I’m learning the wisdom I need comes from inside me. I don’t need to go somewhere to conjure it up or do more to make it happen. Being and becoming is not necessarily inactive, but is also not task oriented. And sometimes the greatest gain comes through rest.

Sometimes the most life-giving and spiritual thing we can do is take a nap.

Be where you are,
Be who you are,

Karl Forehand


Photo by Jennifer Murray:

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