Being in a rush is a symptom of not feeling safe. Many women don’t consider this, however. Why? Because we live in a society where being busy is rewarded. “Wow, look at all you got done!” Or “I can’t believe you are able to handle the kids, your job and that volunteer thing!” We applaud and even admire others who are able to juggle many tasks at once. We never stop for once to consider how they are eating, sleeping, and feeling. Perhaps her efficiency, is actually an extension of her anxiety?
I thought I was being efficient, for a long time. I ran from one thing to the next. Once day I looked up to see that my house was a mess, and so was my mind and heart. I wasn’t sleeping well. Meals were on the go or done standing. And I was snapping at my husband and kids (the very people I told myself I was serving).
I didn’t realize that this busyness was an extension of feeling unsafe. I had young children, so life felt unpredictable. I didn’t understand their mood swings, and was sleep deprived. I had shallow breathing, my heart raced, and I felt irritable. I didn’t know how to make it all stop.
I would slowly learn that feeling unsafe came with my from years prior. I grew up in a home where moods and behaviors were often unpredictable. And although my environment now was far from that, my body didn’t trust me.
I wouldn’t be able to wait to “feel” safe in mind and body, before slowing down.
I would have to train myself to slow down, for my mind and body to eventually feel safe.
This took practice. And consistency. And intentionality.
It took denying what the world and even other girlfriends pursued in their everyday.
I had to schedule less, and carve out time for nothing. I had to breathe, and turn off the screens. I had to move my body- not because I hated the way it felt or looked, or because I ate too much of something the day before. I had to do it because I got to do it, out of honor.
And more than anything, I had to slow down before I felt worthy of it. You see, a lot of busyness is rooted in shame. We don’t feel worthy of rest unless it is earned. But I was done earning. Over time, my body began to trust me again. My thoughts and mind did too. I had authority over things I felt were uncontrollable before. I broke free from the rush and have never felt better.
And you can too.