Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Learning to Breathe

The other night I realized I had poison ivy all over my right arm. In the midst of uncontrollable frustration as to its symptoms (and initially thinking it could be bed bugs brought home from the rez) I then flooded my laundry room trying to wash all the pillows. It was one of those nights where the little things become huge problems and I felt my stress and anxiety rise as I rushed around my house howling about my arm that was surely about to fall off or kill me.

Perhaps I have a flair for the dramatics.

Though those problems weren't really as life-threatening as I made them seem they were a smaller symptom of a bigger problem. Throughout year 2 of my ministry on the reservation the hurts, the trauma, and the pain have built up to manifest themselves in the ever-increasing anxiety attacks that I have paid tribute to before. In the midst of the joy, the fun, the happy, my heart begins to beat incredibly fast and I cannot breathe quite as easily as before. It's definitely not good but it's become my normal.

But let's face it, it isn't good. So as I was freaking out with dramatic text messages like this one:

Me: I think I'm dying. These bug bites itch too much. And I can't sleep. Or breathe. 

I received back advice like this:

Cam: You need to take a second. Take a second and get your thoughts and yourself back under control. Just stand in one spot for a second and breathe. 

So I did. It seemed like simple enough advice so it was worth a try.

I closed my eyes and I focused on my breathing. In. Out. In. Out. As I took back control of who I am, who God is, and how ok life is I began to clear my mind and remember that everything really was going to be fine.

It was a brief moment of silence in the chaos I had created and the chaos that surrounds me.

 I think these brief moments of silence are all too often overlooked in the busyness of our lives. Yes, there are a million things on my to-do list but that doesn't mean I don't have time to stop, to breathe, to quiet my mind and find God's truth. I flood my mind like my laundry room because I've tried to shove too much in. The acts are good intentioned, they are for the "betterment" of myself and others, but if I don't slow down and if I don't de-clutter then good intentions are all they will be. In order to be healthy, to work with others in their health, I have to slow down. I have to breathe.

Because eventually the poison ivy will stop itching and the pillows will dry and Jesus will come back and everything will be ok. I breathe it in.

It's all going to be ok. 

1 comment:

  1. Love love LOVE that last blurb,"and Jesus will come back"--what a key perspective to maintain! The Lord is currently teaching me a lot about rest(because I don't do it well) so I can relate!