Updated: Sep 10
I’ve been called to be an agent of light. Me, who struggles with anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. I have to be one of the most unlikely people ever to inspire anyone. Or, maybe that makes me uniquely qualified. I’ll let you decide.
I’ve been sick this week, and that always makes everything harder. I’ve been pushing myself, and my body finally said, “Alright then, I’ll make you rest.” It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. So I have rested. And my anxiety has soared.
I don’t like being non-productive. One of my LinkedIn connections commented, “What if you saw downtime as ‘productive’? The act of taking care of yourself ‘producing’ a less stressed, calmer, happier you.” What a wonderful statement! One that I need to take to heart.
We weren’t created to be human machines. We were created to enjoy our lives. I know that is a radical concept, but it’s the truth. We are meant to laugh, love, and create. We were never meant to work all the time. We all deserve time to rest. It’s necessary. Critical, in fact.
In addition to being an agent of light, I am also an empath. We empaths have a tendency to absorb the emotions of others. We must take time out for self-care. If we don’t, we become overwhelmed. Jesus knew this truth. When the noise and the crowds became too much, he went away to spend time alone. Several passages refer to him feeling healing energy released from him. I take great comfort in knowing that Jesus was an empath. He understands me! Even if nobody else gets me, he does!
When I am too tired, it doesn’t take much to push me into overwhelm. It may sound silly, but a TV show was what pushed me over the edge this time. I don’t do well with violent entertainment. Especially when it is graphic, unexpected and in a cherished franchise. I was in shock for a week. As an empath, I have to protect myself. What other people can brush off has the potential to affect me for weeks or longer.
Not only is it okay to rest, it is critical, especially for empaths. We empaths FEEL everything so deeply! It is both a blessing and a curse. I can often look at someone and know what they are feeling. I’m not going to apologize for who I am. But I do need to take more responsibility for taking care of myself.
I need to rest more. I need to schedule in more happy times. Playing music with others is something that I need start doing again. It feeds my soul. So does creating for fun, not for work. I also need to start meditating again. It is a great practice that I stopped, to my detriment. Daily yoga and walking is another must. I have been slack there as well. And finally, regular meals and drinking water. Maybe some of these ideas resonate with you as well. Feel free to use them.
Please remember that is is okay to rest. You don’t have to be productive all the time. You were created for so much more. You can be an agent of light too. And in the middle of the night when you feel alone or anxious, take comfort. If it wasn’t for the darkness, you couldn’t see the stars.