Time To Be Still

My Mama Jenneice is very wise.

Her insight runs deep as the Mississippi (Is the Mississippi deep? I should have a fact checker!) and her vast life experiences have shown her many truths. I appreciate the perspective she has gained from being...well...old! (Ha!) She seems to know the right things to say at the right moments to say them. She is like that wise "Mr. Owl," except she knows about a whole heck of a lot more than Tootsie Pops!

Once, while speaking on the phone, our conversation quickly turned to the burdens I'd been carrying around in my proverbial knapsack.

Because life can be really challenging sometimes, you guys.

I lamented about the various heart-pains I'd been experiencing with Cam--from struggles to complete school work during class time, to DIBELS tests reflecting his poor reading skills, to shoving and hitting children on the playground. Cam and I had been in and out of therapists' offices, psychiatrists' offices, and IEP meetings. We'd been to neighbors' houses to apologize for bad behavior at bus stops. I had clicked on email after email after email from Cam's teacher; opening a barrage of written conversation that expressed frustration and bewilderment over his lack of social success at school. It had been enervating.

I lamented about the two horrific migraine headaches I'd had in the last ten days...and how they were probably related to the levels of stress (and the lack of sleep) I'd endured that month. I lamented about my ongoing hair loss, about feeling like a failure as a mother, about hating autism and then feeling guilty for doing so. I lamented about the number of unanswered prayers I'd been sending to heaven, and how God must be tired of hearing from me. (Or trying to help someone less whiny!)

And that's when my mom--the wise owl who knows about so much more than lollipops--said exactly what I needed to hear:

"Aleisha, now is the time for you to be still."

Be still, be still, be still, be still.

What does it mean to be still? It means we silence all those negative voices that shout tirades of criticisms within our minds. It means we slow down and breathe deeper. It means (and dare I say it?) that we stop moving. Stop running, stop scheduling, stop overexerting, stop pushing and pulling our precious selves in that onward drive to impossible perfection. To be still is to be calm and quiet, and to invite peace into our lives. After we have done all that we can do (and our very best)--in our present situations, in our adversities--the next, most purposeful thing we can do for our spirits is to be still. And to just be.

What happens in the stillness, my beautiful friends? Clarity happens. Transcendence happens. Love happens. We find our center. (And no, I'm not talking about the center of the Tootsie Pop!) We find that so much goodness lies there, at the center of ourselves. Goodness and beauty and strength and power and immeasurable worth. We see that our hearts are good and that our lives have purpose.

We know that everything...eventually and blessedly...will be okay.

Everything will be okay.           


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