Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
A Word of Hope
Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? My friends usually think of me as an extrovert because it is my nature to entertain them. I have always had the desire to make other people laugh. When I do that, I am also entertained. But after the party is over, the introvert takes charge. I cherish my downtime and most important of all, to shout with cries of joy for my solitude. This is a time when my ambivert self requires self-care and reflection.
It’s well after Halloween, the season of boisterous extroversion, and we are in the 2020 race to the New Year. As a child, I used to relish this time of year. October being my birthday month always leading up to my favorite holiday, which was Halloween. The other fall holidays couldn’t come fast enough. I’m sure all of us have memories of how gruelingly long it was before Christmas. Holiday anticipation for a child slows to a molasses crawl. For adults the times between celebrations is more like greased lightning. Funny how that works; so little time for self-care, no time to reflect on one event before another one is suddenly in our laps.
This year, added to the usual race to Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and the New Year, we are also confronted with the reality that we will likely be forced to reconfigure those occasions in new and creative ways.
I’m here to tell you that, as you take time to face those challenges, you also must give yourself permission to pre-plan specific times for generously taking care of yourself.
What will you do? -Maybe, take an extra-long bath or an out-of-character afternoon nap? How about a walk on a nice day or finishing a book that nurtures your soul? Take a walk; a real walk, consciously taking in the sights and sounds of the Creation. How about setting aside a specific time to do absolutely nothing? Those are the times when we leave the door open for God-visits; those guided reflections and inspired musings.
I could continue a list of many varieties of self-care methods, but you know yourself better than anyone. Choose the thing that brings you peace even if it’s just 15 minutes. Who knows? You could shout to the Lord with cries of joy.
Teach us to love ourselves as you love us and to seek those places of holy solitude that Jesus always found.
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare