The other day, I was driving on the new toll road. Everything was great with little traffic and the pavement as smooth
as glass. Then, I missed the exit, turned around and missed it again. Made me 15 minutes late for my appointment. Arrggg. Then, coming home I missed my exit and got stuck in a horrible traffic jam, making my return trip 2 hours instead of 1. Sometimes, life is like this. We just keep going and going and going and wonder how can we stop and either make changes or just take a break. Are you ever spinning so many plates, you are afraid to stop? Everything would fall apart if you stopped and then what would happen?
Another question to ask could be, What will happen if I keep this up and never take a break?
This gives a total different perspective. We forget that life is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to learn how to pace ourselves and not burn out in the first 5 miles. Having a chronic illness in my late thirties taught me this valuable lesson. Being a good mom and wife does not require me to totally give away everything of my self, leaving no reserves. I had to learn to receive as much as I gave out. The result was amazing. When I gave up trying to be the super hero, others stepped in and everything was much smoother!! What a relief, for all of us!
We all have to learn to recognize there are times to H.A.L.T.! When you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired these are signs that you need to stop and take care of this need. When we ignore these messages over and over again, we get overwhelmed easily and life becomes unmanageable. While it takes a little work to figure out what is going on, it is so very worth it.
Hungry– Those awful blood- sugar dips make you crazy. All my daughters are hypoglycemic and it took me a long to to recognize when they were yelling and very grouchy they needed protein. “Here drink the milk”, and all was good in the world. Now, it is their job to be aware and carry protein bars at all times. Noticing when you are hungry and taking care of yourself is part of being an adult. We can push ourselves and push ourselves without taking time for proper nourishment, but the cost is great. There are times when we are not hungry, but have another need. If we eat and eat and are not satisfied, it means there is something else.
Angry– It took me a long time to recognize my anger. In me it usually comes out in tears, if I am not quick to bury it. Then, I had so much unresolved anger, I couldn’t even figure out what I was angry about. My definition of emotional mastery now, is not being with out uncomfortable emotions, but to be current in all my emotions. It is easier to resolve past emotions than we realize, and the result is very freeing and amazing. Each day, I am faced with situations and it is great to stay in the moment with them. Why am I angry about his? Do I say something? Am I angry with myself, the situation or are my expectations realistic?? To deal with it and resolve it at he moment leads me to get past it and on to other things.
Lonely– Again, I do need to see if it is a current loneliness of if it is an unresolved loneliness from the past. Becoming your own best friend helps both of these. Valuing yourself as a person allows you to always have someone in your corner, affirming you and encouraging you. It also attracts others to want to be with you and support you. Learning to give and receive in all your relationships can meet this need for loneliness.
Tired– In our fast paced world, we often think we can push ourselves and not need rest. How often are we tired, and instead of shutting down and sleeping, search for something tasty in the pantry or waste time watching TV
We worry about being lazy and do not see it as a real need.
How about you? Can you notice signs showing you it is time to HALT! Can you get off the treadmill and care for yourself, then refreshed and renewed jump back in to life with great joy and courage?