There is something terribly dangerous about resting. That state of absence where we are not obliging our bodies or minds to any activity can mean relinquishing any opportunities that might come our way. Resting means we give up control– if but for a day or a few hours– and we allow the world to continue as it wills.

The courage to rest

I need rest, badly. This week was incredibly busy, and I have not felt this spent for months. Exhaustion can sometimes only be described as a state where the gears in our brains don’t seem to be turning, no matter how hard we try to crank them. We feel that loss of life within our hearts and spirits, drained and unable to pour out as much as we would like.

Resting takes courage. Resting says, “I am okay with what I’m missing. I’m okay with what I can’t do. I recognize my limits. I submit to my own needs.”

We are not a culture that likes to rest. In fact, those of us all too familiar with the work-hard-play-hard mentality understand that life can only be measured by intensity. We are comfortable on either end of the spectrum– intense work or intense play– but there is an ominous gap in the middle that we find terrifying. The place where neither work nor play happen. The place of rest.

The amazing thing about resting, however, is that its impact is manifested in both work and play. When I am rested, I can dig deeper into myself for patience, creativity, compassion, and conviction. When I am rested, I work more efficiently. I think more creatively. I laugh more heartily. I enjoy things more deeply.

The courage to rest is the courage to invest, in a sense, in our experience of life. Slowing down comes with little to show for our efforts, except that the quality of our experiences will be much improved.

The courage to rest is also the courage to accept that others may not rest with us. It is the willingness to be slower than someone else, to be less busy, less in demand, less accomplished. 

And hopefully in that less, there will be more. More peace. More joy. More creativity. More vision.

I hope you find peace in allowing yourself to rest this weekend. Have a good one!