I’ve had a really hard time deciding what to write about for P. Not because of a paucity of good words beginning with P, but because of a plethora of possibilities parading through my head. All day yesterday, and then last night, after I went to bed worn out from a few very stressful days with serious parental health problems, my mind promptly perked up, with P words racing nonstop through my thoughts. I finally fell asleep and dreamed about choosing a word to focus on, and woke up with more words pouring through my mind. I pursued several potential paths, then finally decided I needed to proclaim a PAUSE

And that is what I did. I went out and planted pansies (oh dear, more P’s), and that partially cleared my head. I realized that whenever I have a stressful few days, even when I have had the margin I wrote about a few days ago, my mind does tend to get going and it acts like a runaway horse (or should I say pony) and will not slow down. I sleep poorly, I wake up groggy but wired, and my thoughts revert at the drop of a hat to whatever my mind has latched onto. Perseverance is good, but perseveration is exhausting.

I really do need to pause, but it seems I can’t simply do a passive pause, because my thoughts snap back to their previous focus like a rubber band that’s been stretched and released. Hence my decision to get out in the fresh air, take a walk with Ramble, sketch a tree, and do some gardening. As I ponder this problem, I recognize that, though the subject differs, this is perhaps one of the more important skills I need to develop– the ability to pause my mind. I don’t know if everyone’s mind gets stuck in a permanent loop like this, but looking back, I can see that this has been my response to stress for as long as I can remember, even when I was a child.

And that makes me think that while calling a pause is a good start, I probably need to address the root of the problem, which is how I respond to stress. I suspect that this is actually a form of worrying, even though I am not specifically worrying about the issue at hand. I am going to try a three-pronged approach to Pausing:

  • Redirect my mind– Go for a walk, sketch, read.
  • Remind myself of truth– I am not God. I’m responsible for my actions but not for outcomes.
  • Receive God’s peace– “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

As I look ahead to tomorrow, I am thankful that there are not as many Q words!

And now I need to click “Publish”…

A to Z April Blogging P

2 Replies to “Pause…”

  1. Pause is good and not something I’m always good at doing. I’m similar to you, getting outside and walking by myself helps. And the reminder…”Be STILL (pause) and know that I am God.”

    • I remember reading on your blog recently about getting outside to clear your head and gain perspective. And yes, that verse covers my first two points about redirecting my mind and reminding myself that I am not God. Thank you, Terri!