God must have gotten a few wires crossed - or completely removed - when He wired me. I say that because I have the cognitive inability to relax.
You might think you know what I'm talking about, if you share this energetic gusto, but as much as I knew I had trouble slowing down, the relax thought was new to me. It struck a couple of months ago after, by sheer accident, I did it.
I was lying in bed, as any other night, and I'd been lying there for about two and a half hours. When I'd crawled into bed, I remember it felt so good to settle in for the night. To settle down for a bit? I don't remember what exactly I had done that day, but I remember that bed was appreciated and long overdue. For that first split second as I worked the covers all snug around me, I had the fleeting thought that, "ahhhhh........" Very fleeting because within a half-second, I was thinking about how relaxed I was. Thinking about finally stopping for the night.
Thinking about what it felt like to lie there relaxed and ready for sleep.
Thinking about what it's like to fall asleep.
Thinking I ought to fall asleep.
After a couple hours of that, as I was still thinking about the intricacies of sleep, I felt my body actually let go and finally relax.
It wasn't until that moment that I realized that every other time in my life I thought I'd been relaxed, I also had the conscious thought, "I am relaxed now," which was enough to convince me I was relaxed but not actually enough to relax me.
It wasn't until that moment that I realized I had been doing it all wrong.
And it wasn't until that moment that I had the conscious thought to start thinking about what it was that just happened, what I maybe did to make it happen, how "relaxed" felt and how I might be able to achieve it again....and at some point, I realized I wasn't even relaxed any more. Whatever my body had let go of, I had grabbed back hold of. Whatever I had finally settled into, I started to stir back up.
You see, I have an incessant internal thought process. It's not even a train; it's just a process. A process that doesn't mind thinking about its process when it has nothing else to think about. I am always thinking about what I am thinking about, and if I'm not thinking about anything, then I'm thinking about why I'm not thinking about anything. I am trapped in this internal world that is processing everything....but is more focused on processing the processing than anything else, and it's only recently that I have become keenly aware of this.
By the grace of having a few moments of breaking out of it.
A few moments where instead of thinking about what was going on, I was engaging with what was happening. A few moments where I have listened to other people talk and not been carefully crafting a response. A few moments where things happen and it's this magical, beautiful, wonderful feeling because whatever has been happening is so absolutely cool and I feel blessed to be in the moment to enjoy it.
A few moments until, inevitably, I realize I am enjoying it and realize that is because I'm hearing something louder than my internal process process and then wondering what is wrong with my internal process process that it doesn't seem to be jumping all over this moment.
I don't think there's anything wrong with it, though I won't admit how long it took my process to figure that out. I don't think my process process is broken; I think it is healing. Because through the past few months, in the same time span I have become increasingly aware of my internal drone, I have also become aware of my insecurities....and something very secure God has created in me. Something that is purely His and can rest in that. And every now and then, more frequently as days go by, I'm getting these moments where I am simply in that and can simply be in that, and it's fantastic. I'm finding out what rest is. I'm finding out what relaxed feels like. I'm finding something awesome in something simple and all that simply is.
It's hard to give up the habit, the voice, the thing in me that's never been able to settle down or to stop thinking. It's hard not to think about not thinking, which is thinking in itself. It's hard, too, not to think about the incredible blessing these moments are and how thirsty my weary soul is for them. But it's awesome to have some tangible experience of what this moment is. It's cool to understand how God is weaving His rest into my tired heart, how He is knitting together a few torn places and letting me be just as He's created me to be and to stop worrying and wondering about what that is. It's cool to embrace His invitation to engage with the world instead of always feeling like I have to answer it. It's really cool...