Too Busy for Healing?

I have been struck recently by how many times I have heard how busy people are. In conversation it will become clear that someone has a lot of built-up stress in their marriage, but they’ll say they’re too busy to deal with it. I’ll work with someone in therapy and it will become clear that they have been tolerating an incredible imbalance in their lives, and I’ll never see them again. I’ll work with someone who is motivated to change in a session, and then they will have forgotten what we talked about when they come back a few months later. Sometimes I work with a couple who told me that they started having issues in their marriage years before. What took them so long to get help? They were too busy. At times I feel so sad for the heavy burden that people carry in their lives. All I want to do is help them put it down, but they are too busy to do the work.

I understand being busy. I’m rarely someone who sits around twiddling her thumbs. Between work and kids and running a household, life often feels very full. But I believe that there can be a level of unconsciousness that can start to operate in our lives when we allow ourselves to become so busy that we deprioritize our own healing. Pain and stress affect everything in our lives. If I’m experiencing disharmony in my marriage, I guarantee I’m carrying that disharmony with me into other areas of my life. If I’m feeling bad about my parenting, I guarantee that I’m carrying those bad feelings with me into other areas of my life. If I’m not taking care of my body and my health, I guarantee that I’m carrying that poor health into other areas of my life. Cleaning up the areas that are out of balance is a commitment to bringing balance into all areas of your life.

I frequently do an inventory of my life where I look at the different aspects of my life that require my energy and I ask myself the question, “Am I being fueled by love OR by fear/anger/guilt/jealousy/pain in this area of my life?” Here are the areas I like to consider:

1. Work/vocation/career

2. Family (marriage, parenting, extended family)

3. Financial

4. Physical (health, food, fitness)

5. Social

6. Learning and personal/mental development

7. Spiritual

That’s an easy answer for me when I look at my marriage…I’m fueled by love. That’s an easy answer for me when I look at my work….I’m fueled by love. But as I look at the other categories I might find one that’s out of balance. Try it. Is there work for you to do to bring one or more areas into love?

Then I like to look at the categories as a group because they accumulate into my life. Is there an area that I have neglected that needs my attention? How can I give that area attention? Am I telling myself that I’m too busy to give that area attention? That’s like telling myself that I’m too busy to live a good, balanced, meaningful life! I think we can all live the good life…it just takes a little bit of consciousness and work.

I wish that we had all been taught the things that I teach to the individuals, couples, and families that I work with when we were growing up. We all learned to do math in school, but we didn’t learn how to set boundaries. We all learned to read in school, but we didn’t learn about conscious intention and living from our hearts. There are many teachings that I pass along to my clients that I wish that all of humanity already knew, but that’s not the case. All we can do is focus on learning for ourselves how to master the art of living. I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes. If this quote is not a reflection of your own life, please find time for your own healing. You’re never too busy for your own life to flourish. And if you are….then you need to stop because you have work to do.

Master the Art of Living:

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.

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