Stop in the Name of Love

Just another evening mindlessly trolling Facebook when I came across this post:

 
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The second I read it I wanted to raise my hands to the heavens and shout out a hearty amen! Then of course a tsunami of questions hit me:

Why do I treat taking a break like a buck-list item?
Why do I push myself to the point of exhaustion?
Who do I think is judging me if I stop?
Why don’t I allow myself to say ‘no’ when I need to say ‘no’?

I have a habit of over extending myself until I completely fall apart and then it takes so much more time and energy to recuperate than it would if I just stopped for a brief siesta in the first place. I ignore that desperate little warning voice in the back of my head that frantically jumps up and down like a Mexican jumping bean telling me to rest, and instead, convince myself that if I just get through my beefy to-do list, all will be well. But that list just never seems to get smaller and ‘just this one thing’ leads to another ‘okay, just let me do this’ and the next thing I know I have hit a wall and I’m down for the count.

What I really need to do when I hear those illustrious warning bells ringing is to ask myself ‘what do I need’ and actually slow down enough to hear the answer. Do I need an overflowing bubble bath? To ask a friend to meet me for tea? Bust out the knitting needles? Sit in peace and quiet? Go for a walk? Cut footloose in my kitchen?

Or is it a matter of,

  • saying ‘no’.

  • stepping away from social media.

  • letting go of a commitment that doesn’t bring me joy.

  • not holding a mistake against myself.

  • rolling with it instead of holding on tight to a desired outcome.

Giving myself a break doesn’t mean I am quitting, it means I love myself enough to pay attention to what I need. And sometimes I need to sit with a cup of tea and a Hello! magazine while the rest of the world is off doing their own thing.

The truth is, I always know what I need if I just stop and pay attention; the challenge is to be kind enough to myself to actually follow through. Diana Ross in all her sequined glory had it right, some times I just need to stop in the name of love.