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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Catching Up With Yourself

Jane went over her handlebars while mountain biking last week.  She got banged up pretty good, requiring a week of recovery in bed.

When I asked her how she was doing, her reply struck me.  “I could deal without this gaping wound on my face.  But truthfully, it has been kind of nice.  I feel like I have caught up with myself….maybe for the first time in a long time.”

Later that day, I thought about her words.  I have caught up with a few old friends this summer.  I have caught up with my brothers.  I have caught up on my emails.  But have I caught up with myself?

The poet David Whyte says this about a time when he needed to catch up with himself:

I was looking for David because I had become a stranger to myself and didn’t even have time for a snatched conversation about things that really mattered to me.  I was looking for David because some inner relationship had been neglected and taken for granted; I had become like an old married couple who had stopped talking years before, the inner friendship with my old self slowly tearing apart under the strain. Behind the curtain was a man who was afraid to cross a threshold of visibility needed to make his place in the world. 
Crossing the Unknown Sea, p. 126

There are many ways to catch up with yourself—walks, art, prayer and journaling to name a few.  Or here is an idea:  While taking a walk or sitting in a favorite place, ask yourself this question:  What have I felt the past few days?  (Anger?  Joy?  Energy?)  Why?  What is going on below the surface?

Our relationship with ourselves is similar to other relationships.  It can be ignored or fed, disregarded or strengthened. If we are going to make a difference in the world, we will need to regularly catch up with ourselves.

(Hopefully without flying over the handlebars of our bike.)

Doug Wysockey-Johnson
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  1. Since the deaths of my son and husband in the past 18 months my world was turned upside down. When yet more paperwork is required I often have to STOP to pick some fresh flowers, pull some weeds, take a walk or have my cats sit on my lap. I HAVE to do this as much as I need to sleep and eat.

  2. Rest, relaxation and restful recreation are need in my life and are equal in importance
    to duty toward most of my obligations. Bill Morgan

  3. Your blog topics are so on target in my life. I am taking a week to rest,read, and exercise on the beach.

    I plan to read the Book of Acts, meditate, and reflect. Yes, I will journal. I also have the book, The Peaceful Warrior to read. I saw the movie about one year ago.

    I will see the movie Eat, Pray, and Love with two friends who have faced rough times. We hope to enjoy time together and then have a glass of wine to share our reactions afterward. So I'm taking time for friends who are facing many challenges.

    God is definitely with me.