You should go and love yourself.

Disclaimer: The following sentence is the most honest sentence I will write this week.

I am a worshipper of busy-ness.

I know what you’re probably thinking right now. “Me too.” There’s something about this culture that we are a part of that makes us all worshippers of busy-ness. This world has taught us to build shrines for our busy-ness…it’s made us think that we should sing praises of exaltation to those who can be more, do more, and sleep less. It leads us to believe that white space in our planners is some kind of sin.

And I am not an exception.

I have developed an insatiable thirst for busy-ness. A terrible desire to be more, do more, & sleep less. You see, I tend to believe that if I can be in all of the places and do all of the things and meet all of the people, then maybe I can experience more life than the people around me. Not only that, but I have bought into the lie that by increasing the number of events in my calendar and adding new titles to my resume, I can somehow squeeze extra satisfaction out of life.

I curled up on the couch with a dear friend of mine the other day and listened as she told me about how exhausted she has been recently. “I feel like the life has been sucked out of me all of the time. I don’t have any energy. I don’t feel creative or inspired. And I really have no idea why.” I proceeded to ask her a series of questions about her recent lifestyle habits; what she was eating, how she was exercising, how much sleep she was getting, when was the last time she made time to do something that brought her joy. Her responses were exactly what I had expected. “I have too much going on right now. I don’t have the time to exercise or write in my journal or sleep.” And as she rambled on about all of her to-do’s and upcoming plans, my mind drifted to my own schedule. After I left her house, I would head home and work on homework late into the night and then set my alarm bright and early for a day jam-packed from 6am to 10pm or so, when I would retire to my home to stay up late studying once again…and I’d be repeating that schedule each day for the next three weeks according to my planner.

“This is my advice to you, but really I’m saying it for myself, because I need to find a way to let this sink into my bones too” I told her. “Today the best life lesson I can offer you is summed up most eloquently through the lyrics of Justin Bieber: you should go and love yourself.”

Okay yes, I just quoted the Biebs. But seriously. For the love of all things gold and good, stop the glorification of busy and go love yourself. Clear some time out in your schedule to rest. Sit in the sun (Lord knows we should take advantage of it here in Washington while we can). Spend some time doing things that feed your soul. Take pictures. Write. Break out those dance moves that you spend so much time perfecting in your living room when no one’s home. Quit scrolling through Instagram and wasting time on Facebook and get some sleep. Like 8 full hours of it. Eat three full meals. Eat three TASTY full meals. And then have some dessert too! And goodness gracious, take some time out of your day to SWEAT IT OUT. Endorphins are no joke, people! Runner’s high is real and strong is sexy.

Honestly, I don’t think a list of accomplishments or a mountain of planners filled to the brim with parties and work and school is going to mean a whole lot at the end of our lives if we spent the majority of that time burnt out and uninspired. Running around like chickens with our heads cut off until we reach zombie-status doesn’t lead to higher life satisfaction.

So screw the busy-ness. Cancel your crappy plans and make new ones. Make better ones. And for the world’s sake as well as your own….go love yourself.

 

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Gold in the Wreckage

I looked down at my phone at 11:03pm to see her name and I knew right away that something was wrong. Still, I answered the phone cheerfully, hoping her response would be just as chipper. Sniffles and heavy breathing on the other side of the phone confirmed my initial suspicions. Something was definitely wrong.

I spent the next 27 minutes listening to her recount the goodbye. A sudden and unexpected plunge into heartbreak. One minute they were tied together as “we” and the next they were separated into “him” and “me.”

My heart broke for her as I listened to her taking deep breaths on the other end of the receiver. I knew her pain all too well. This just isn’t how things were meant to be. Our hearts weren’t made to be broken. They weren’t made to be handled so carelessly.

I took out a blank card and wrote down a few verses of scripture and a couple “Break up 101 tips,” but I knew there wasn’t anything I could say to make the pain go away. I knew that no sentence was going to magically sew the ripped parts of her heart back together. She didn’t need break-up tips. She didn’t need words. She needed someone to show up and be there for her. She needed to know that someone was going to stick around for her. She didn’t need someone to have all of the answers. She just needed someone to be there. She needed someone to pick up the pieces of her hearts debris and stay with her until she found the strength to put it together.

So I got in my car and I showed up. With coffee in hand and a lack of answers. And we talked about the two of them and I read her my favorite Psalms and I stayed up with her until I heard her breathing slow down and could tell that she was finally asleep.

I think that’s what this life is about. I don’t think we need to have all of the answers all of the time. I think we just need to show up and love the heck out of the people we care about.

And then, after we’ve shown up, and time plays its part in the mending process, we can watch and celebrate when they take those broken pieces and grow strong again and use them to make something even more beautiful than before.

So this post is for you Kayla- may you find gold in the wreckage as you work through the broken pieces…and until then, I’ll be right here. I’ll always show up.