At this moment, the warm ocean breeze engulfs me as I sit looking over the beach in Seaside – arguably the prettiest little coastal town in all of Florida. Do you remember the movie The Truman Show with Jim Carey? It was filmed here. This town is perfect – the streets are perfect, the houses are perfect, the weather is perfect, the ocean is perfect. It’s one of those places. Everything here is beautiful and just about as idyllic as life gets. I should be loving it and completely enjoying myself…but I’m not. Why?
Because I’m too tired.
I am realizing that I have denied myself rest for so long that now that I am here in this perfect place – I’m too tired to enjoy it. I think I have lived this way for most of my life. I am really terrible at knowing how to rest as I go. I just sort of burn myself completely out, then topple over. I am coming to grips with this realization because I have begun to value my nest and what is true – even a hard truth about myself.
In examining why I let this happen again and again, I have to ask myself what is wrong with my nest. You will recall that your nest is the name we give to the space where your heart lives. If your nest is solid and healthy, then your heart, your life and your habits will reflect that. It never ceases to amaze me how one false message can mess up my nest. Just as if a bird wove something sharp or toxic into their nest, it would be unsafe. In pondering the issue of rest, I am beginning to see that in my life I value my ability to work and be productive, but I do not value the worker as I should. I do not value my own need and myself like I ought to. The false message in my nest is that I am not really worth taking care of. I also recall that a repeating pattern of unhealthy behavior usually means a hole in my nest. So, I have two things to address – a toxic twig and a hole in my nest.
What should I do? First, I remember that seeking Beauty, Trueness, Love and Life-Giving Things everyday is the path to a healthy nest. This habit is what helped me see the hole in my nest to begin with. I need to remove the toxic twig I know is there – in this case, a false belief. When I think about it, I would never treat someone else the way I have treated myself. I would not want them to run themselves into the ground. So I stop, and sincerely apologize to myself, deeply committing to love myself better. I talk to myself the way I would to a friend. I take time and really think about how I treat myself, laughing that my dad would say, “You drive yourself like a rented mule.” I recognize that I do not value myself as I should. In trueness, I must face this and see that it is not beautiful, loving, or life-giving for me to have this attitude. In fact, it is very harmful for me. Because I am a spiritual person, I also ask God to help me change.
Next, I must begin to determine how I can change this pattern in my life – how can I fix the hole? Without a plan, the hole will remain. When I was growing up, I never really learned to relax and enjoy myself. I felt like I had to be responsible, even for the people who were supposed to be responsible for me. As an adult, I keep repeating this mistake. Even when I try to rest, I always have a sense of pressure and responsibility nipping at my heels.
I watched some kids playing ball with their mom on the beach this morning. They played hard. They had full permission to play and were doing it with all their hearts. I am going to follow their example and “work” on playing. I am going to give my heart permission to be a kid and do what should come naturally, but doesn’t. Maybe tomorrow I will build a sandcastle…that would be a perfect way to start. I will be deliberate about playing in a way that satisfies my heart and fills this hole.
Just like Jim Carey’s character in The Truman Show does, I will consider more deeply how Real life is mine for the taking, but first I have to face the truth, then face my fears, and bravely step out into a new way of living. Here’s to stepping out and living well. Wanna play?
What false beliefs do you have… are there any holes in your nest?
“Goodness cares and wants to know”
A “Good” Idea :
Take some time to consider your own nest. What patterns do you see in your own life that may indicate a need for a “nest make-over?” If you want to learn more about caring for your own nest, read the field guide available for download free, here on the website. You are worth the investment!!