Running in circles

By Melea Johnson

Health Matters Posted on Feb 3, 2017
As long as I can remember I have run at life as fast as I can, taking on projects, never saying no to a new idea, bubbling over with enthusiastic fervor for new adventure, and always being ready. However, keeping up this internal tempo caught up with me. I found I was exhausted. I had become numb to the impact of self-imposed stress and minimized its scope and magnitude of debilitating long-term results.

It sneaks up on you – the underlying and overwhelming mindset that you have to always be racing to get something done. You have to. And you are late…already! It is a constant, contained panic, a sense of being in over your head and out of control. It is easy to make wrong choices at this point because what is bad can look good and what is good you may not even see.

I never realized quite how fast my life moved until I retreated and slammed on the brakes. For one week my days, usually an over-scheduled blur of…running in circles…involved not much more than listening to the rain and staring at the ocean.

And a strange thing began to happen as one languid moment passed into the next. I started to feel as if I were waking up. I felt engaged, present, and energized in ways I had forgotten I could be. I savored the refreshment and welcomed the sense of well-being. I began discerning the difference between things I was running fast after and things I was running fast…from.

I never thought I would be thankful for being so fatigued, but the very limitation of it catapulted me into contemplation, prayer, reflection and a determined decision to change.

In other words…slow down.

When you stop and think about it, is everything we run after necessary and without consequence? I mean a dog will run after a car but what happens when he catches it?

A great friend told me, there are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going. Take your time. Be still. Listen. Wait. Schedule time to rest. On purpose. Running flat out to accomplish a certain something is not the most important if the sacrifice along the way is too great, damaging your closest relationships, or your own personal health, or your ultimate happiness.

Instead, take ample time to capture every moment that is good, and be grateful for it. Become clear in your choices. Hold on tight to your family and your priorities. Put your focus on loving others where they are at and helping them know the love that will not leave them there. Do the things you have said you would love to do, if you only had time.

And while doing so, don't forget to bask in the sunshine and let it warm you. Listen to the birds and let their melodic call soothe you. Breathe in spring and let it rejuvenate you. Watch the setting sun and notice the vivid color patterns of otherworldly quality, never the same way twice and let it amaze you.


Written by Melea Johnson