I don’t know about you, but I am an overzealous multitasker. On Saturday, we were rushing to get out the door for a wedding, and I found myself attempting to brush my teeth, shave my legs, and curl my hair at the same time. Needless to say, it was NOT as flawless as I envisioned, but it opened my eyes to see how often I try to do too many things at once and none of them end up being successful. It’s so easy to stretch ourselves too thin.
This morning, I was reading Strong Women, Soft Hearts (my favorite book of 2010) and Paula Rinehart related this tendency to our relationships. As women, we try so hard to be so many things to all kinds of different people—families, friends, coworkers, etc.—that we often forget to take care of our own hearts.
Paula relates this to the amount of time and money we spend on all kinds of lotions, potions, and serums for our skin to make us look younger. And points out that “So much time and attention goes to the external stuff. It makes me thing: Am I giving this much attention to my inner life, to my own heart?”
The Bible speaks of being selfless and serving others, so the idea of caring for ourselves may seem counterintuitive, but Paula argues that, “you can’t really love other people well unless you are home in your own soul.”
So this week, I want to make it a priority to care for my heart. Not out of selfishness, but because when my I’m taking care of my heart, it enables me to love God and love others more appropriately.
Where does this begin?
One thing Paula recommends is journaling and allowing the pen to speak to the condition of your heart. She references CS Lewis when he says, “Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago.”
She also recommends practicing solitude and allowing yourself a little space to simply be. I tend to avoid complete solitude, but there is a tranquility I discover when I remove myself from my environment, quiet the noise that typically surrounds me, and practice being still.
A big one, and another one I avoid, is sharing your heart with others. Take a friend to coffee and make an effort to go below the surface and be known. We can’t be afraid to share the condition of our hearts with those closest to us.
Other ideas? Go on a walk/run, take a bubble bath, read, pray, rest.
What about you? When it comes to our hearts, what are some other effective ways we can be at home in our own soul?
PS: Sorry about the broken link last Friday. Click here to read “The Never Forsaking God” by Oswald Chambers.