Simplifying Our Lives to Allow Time to Be

In just one day last week, I met individually with four persons, each of whom at one point in our conversations said that he/she was far too busy to have time for introspection and self-care. By day’s end, yet again I was struck by how the busyness of our lives stunts our souls. It’s epidemic.

So I wonder if you can relate to those persons. Do you also feel entirely justified in enumerating all the very logical and pressing reasons why you just cannot find or make time for your own inner life? And yet when you happen accidentally to slow down, does your soul prick you with sentiments of emptiness?

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Personal Boundaries and Authenticity

In my work as a counselor, I sometimes meet persons who are confused about personal boundaries. Poorly defined personal boundaries make our lives unnecessarily difficult, and they thwart our authentic expression. Given that having defined, yet flexible boundaries is a skill of personal authenticity, it warrants that we take a closer look at boundaries.

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Taking Responsibility for What We Don’t Know

“I don’t know.”

That’s a statement we hear too little of these days. It seems we would expound about spiritual issues with which we have no personal experience, rather than take responsibility for what we do not know to be true, and stand in the nakedness of our not knowing. Not knowing seems a deficiency of the personality, rather than a simple fact.

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The Tyranny of the To Do List

So finally you have decided to make time in your life for yourself. Perhaps you want to meditate. Maybe you yearn to do some journal writing. Possibly you just want to take some time to reflect or at long last do nothing at all, and just be. Honoring your heartfelt need to care also for yourself, you schedule some time just for you.

However before your time arrives, life’s to dos shunt aside your good intention. They’re innumerable: feed the kids; drive the kids to and from school, pre-school, after school; do laundry; clean house; go to the cleaners, bank, supermarket, gas station; see you friend for lunch; pay bills; answer emails and phone calls; not to mention your job and its overtime demands… things to do ad infinitum. And another day darkens, leaving your soul again uncared for.

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Just the Facts M’am

So you’re walking down the corridor at work, and you see your boss approaching you. As she nears, you chirp “Good morning!” which she ignores as she quickly walks by. “Hmm. What did I do?”, you wonder. You worry, “Is there something wrong? Am I going to be fired or laid off?” You cull your memory for any trace of a reason for your boss to treat you so.

Or maybe you’re really taken with someone whom you’ve just started dating. You telephone her to arrange a date, but she’s not home, and so you leave a message. Days pass without a return call. Crestfallen, you realize that obviously she must not have been interested in you after all. You pine, “How could I have so misread her smiles and laughter?”

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