Hope Searches for Rest

Several people in my world have recently mentioned their need for rest. They admit they are trying to find an oxymoronic balance – to intentionally work at resting.tea -book-rose

My usual response is to seek the true meaning of a word, to discover the hidden secret and find motivation. And to be honest, I admit to my own search for rest:

  • When I cannot cease running from the grief that seems constantly present
  • When the change of identity summons personal soul fatigue
  • When a break in the routine feels like a betrayal of goals
  • When the carefully monitored diet results in its own health issues
  • When I watch a news cycle and wonder how we can ever return to kindness

Anxiety overshadows rest and keeps us from inner calm.

While it may provide relief to leave the daily routines and take a break on a beach, without true inner rest – the stress of life’s anxieties meekly follow.

So how do we determine what is genuine rest? Perhaps each of us must find our own definition, then rearrange life to discover its benefits.

For me, rest is more than a nap, more encompassing than a vacation or a spring break. For my soul to experience true rest, I must learn contentment:

  • No comparing myself to others who count several best-sellers in their resumes
  • No wishful thinking about an easier way to shelter, a smaller place to clean, a discount from the barrage of bills and the huge yard
  • No dwelling in the griefs of what is lost but embracing more thank-yous of what once was
  • No focus on the past or longing for the future but more of a carpe diem to seize each day

And when I fail and the gloomies threaten, to begin again, take a deep breath and believe rest can be achieved.

Hope beckons to weary souls, to those who have cried out for years in repetitive unanswered prayers. But as we accept what we have been given and learn contentment, the deeper searching responds.

Then that elusive place of rest becomes a haven of peace where hope and joy entwine.

As the Serenity Prayer reminds us: “God, grant me serenity (rest) to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

Much of my rest happens within the pages of books. Check out my Author Page for some choices.

Tip # 7 for Caregivers

Use the Life Story.

Each of us has a life story and while we’re living it, we often don’t realize how important it is. The life story defines us, leaves a legacy and tells our loved ones who we were and how we dealt with each day and each situation.

For caregivers, the life story becomes vital. It tells us how to deal with the patients and how to best ease their anxiety.

During her life, did she like animals? Then we need pet therapy.

Did he enjoy watching the sunset? Then let’s watch it together every night, and especially – when he seems agitated.

Was she in the military? Then maybe she’ll enjoy hearing military songs such as “Anchors Away” or “From the Halls of Montezuma.”

My mother was a nurse, so when she’s anxious—we use medical jargon.

“Remember, Mom, when you were a nurse and you wanted your patients to take their medicine? Well, you need to do that now. Swallow your meds.”

When Mom doesn’t want to do something, we ask the doctor to write a prescription. She’s accustomed to obeying doctors’ orders. The doctor wrote a script that stated, “Arlene is no longer able to drive a car.” Mom didn’t like it, but she obeyed.

This tip also reminds us that it’s important to write memoirs, to get our life stories down in print so that our children will know how to communicate with us. Leave a legacy, but also supply the clues that will help others know our life stories—if we become one of those who sometimes forgets.