Losing touch with ourselves and our close relationships is a big problem. It reminds me of the Rwandan proverb: “You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.” Eventually there comes a time when we can’t ignore what is inside of us any longer. In our culture, because we ignore it for so long, it builds like a volcano and comes out in the form of a crisis – in our relationships, jobs, or mental health (depression or anxiety anyone?). But the problem with this is we are then doing crisis work rather than health and growth work. We have less of our resources available to healing and being able to really change because we are too busy trying to put out the fire.
By staying in busyness all the time, we are really being lazy and neglectful in tending to our humanness and it causes problems in our personal lives. It causes disconnect within ourselves and in our close relationships. Further, it decreases our availability to each other and decreases the quality of our work when our focus is on just getting things done rather than getting things done well and learning from the experience.
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So how do we change this? Well, it requires a shift in values and change in our expectations. Is our priority our humanness or our business? There is the cliché, "No one on their deathbed ever said, 'I wish I spent more time at work,'” so I know where we say our values are, but we don’t actually do it. We need to slow down and give ourselves permission to not get as much done in this moment. We need to re-prioritize and put our relationships with ourselves and the people in our life first.
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Ironically, as I write this my 2 year old daughter climbs on my lap. At first, it was easy for me to set the computer aside and play with her. I’d let her climb on me, flip her upside down, give her some tickles, we laugh and I put her down and pick the computer back up and keep writing. Then she climbs up again, we repeat. After the 3rd time I realized I was starting to get a little annoyed, because I just wanted to get this article finished! I had momentum! Luckily, I am writing about this exact thing at the moment, so I was able to close the computer and play with her until she was done playing. We laugh together, I laugh at myself, I learn. It is a constant practice.