I grew up not only staying busy to protect myself, but staying busy so I didn’t have to think so much.
My mind moved at the speed of light, and there was never a time that I wasn’t trying to figure things out or working on some project. It wasn’t safe in my home to be still or go quiet.
So the techniques I learned in my childhood to keep me from harm became the same things today that cause me pain.
When I was eleven years old I created a resume and it looked something like this: Oldest of four kids, skilled in babysitting, helping around the house, laundry and household duties. I charge .50 an hour and these are the hours I am available ____________. I went around the neighborhood and dropped my information in all the mail slots.
Staying busy was my first and foremost way of protection. If I wasn’t babysitting I was mowing lawns. If I wasn’t mowing lawns, I was weeding yards. If I wasn’t weeding yards I was washing cars. And so the seeds of workaholism were planted. My garden was fertile and the seeds grew with abandon.
I realized that earning money gave me a false sense of power, and I needed a feeling of being in control of something.
I was going to school, doing my chores at home, earning money, doing homework and always looking for more. There was never enough for me to do to keep my mind free of the pain that lived in my home.
I worked. And I worked, and I worked some more.
I spent my life trying to use outside solutions to fill an inside void. I hungered for other’s approval, business recognition, social achievement, and money. I thirsted for something to fill a hole in my soul that was deep as the sea is wide. I was taught to “Make it Happen.” I tried for so long that I eventually grew resentful of others for not doing what I needed them to do so I could have what I desperately believed I deserved.
It was no one’s job to give me what I thought I needed. It was my job to ask for what I wanted and then lovingly allow others to choose if they could or would meet that need.
No matter the answer, my lesson was and still is to be honest, ask and let go.
There was nothing outside of me that could fill an emptiness that only God could fill. So when I heard someone say, “Don’t just do something, sit there,” I was startled into the reality that being busy can sometimes deny me of quiet time with myself and God. It takes away my opportunity to breathe and trust that all is well no matter what is happening outside of me.
It is okay to rest when I tired, cry when I’m sad, ask for help when I am needy and be vulnerable to the world.
For it is only in those moments when I am not trying to convince the world that I’m lovable that I become genuinely transparent and can let the light of God shine through me.
So for the moment, I will sit and experience my BEINGNESS.