As you may know I’m meeting with my therapist/coach regularly and the revelations seem daunting. My recent assignment is to do a sleep survey or assessment. It’s not your regular sleep study where you have wires or a CPAP. Instead I had to write down every time I went to bed, fell asleep and the amount of time I slept. The assessments run biweekly and begins on a Thursday.
Over the first two weeks of the survey I think i actually slept 48-72 hours or so. That’s crazy right?! I don’t have the numbers in front of me but, suffice it to say that I wasn’t sleeping. My complaints were this: inability to focus, light headaches, feeling anxious, and a general sense of running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Thankfully I’m due to see my Neurologist soon. I’ll be sharing this information with him and discussing a sleep study. How fun. Nevertheless, this is part of my journey.
One of my biggest challenges isn’t my current location during this journey. It is, however, the expectations of others. Let me explain. There are those who believe that being Christian means that you’re perfect and righteous. Um, no, that’s not me. I’m being perfected (maturing) and my righteousness (though it is as filthy rags) is in Christ Jesus and Him alone. So I’m striving not to live under the shadow of someone’s expectations but God’s.
So what to do about this lack of sleep? Go to sleep lady!! Right? Well, it’s not always that easy. Through what I’m experiencing now I begun to realize patterns of behavior. Now this is where it gets really cool. Lack of sleep will cause the brain to function differently. It’s really not brain surgery. The brain needs rest. But for me, even when I do sleep I’m not resting; or at least my brain isn’t. So, back to the question of how to tackle my lack of sleep.
I’ve been reading about biofeedback, brainwave optimization, and a few other things that caught my attention. (Sometimes I think I missed my vocation in healthcare. I’d make a great doctor or nurse practitioner.) Unfortunately most insurance still doesn’t pay for such modalities. But I enjoy reading and learning about them and looking to the Bible to bring things into complete focus.
The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
This is the slogan of the United Negro College Fund. And it’s very true. The things that we think about and entertain produces behavioral and emotional outcomes. Now for those who have suffered traumatic past what I’m about to share can be quite liberating if applied. Let me explain.
We deal with intrusive thoughts from our experiences, right? Calculate the time spent on our past. Honestly, we use up so much time and energy on things that we cannot change. It is a waste of our precious resources. In reading about brainwave optimization I learned that it is a process of recalibrating your brain to work more efficiently. It is, “a holistic and non-evasive process that guides the brain back to its natural, balanced state and helps people overcome brain-related barriers that prevent them from performing at their highest physical, mental/emotional, spiritual levels.” (Brain State Technologies)
What if we can transform our minds? Change the way we think and what we think? Could we be more at peace? Would we be able to rest? And would our brains finally calm down so that we can focus, have better memory, be less anxious (or depressed) and have a clearer vision of things as a whole? I say, “Yes!” And a few things come to mind.
Hm, we talked about decluttering our minds didn’t we?
I take your attention to two verses of scripture.
And He said to them, [As for you] come away by yourselves to a deserted place, and rest a while—for many were [continually] coming and going, and they had not even leisure enough to eat. Mark 6:31 AMP
It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil—for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep. Psalm 127:2 AMP
Wow! This found me right where I’m at. I was going to sleep late and getting up early; becoming busy “coming and going” and not enjoying “even leisure enough to eat”. But wait, you’re supposed to be losing weight and working on healthy eating habits. Yes, that’s true. But when you get caught up in whatever is going on in your mind you can lose sight of what’s important. Remember I talked about the whole “what’s in your mind vs reality” thing about a week ago. So, as I looked at my activities, my sleep patterns I was doing just as Mark 6:31 described.
It was so bad that my therapist/coach gave me magazines to read: O Magazine, Good Housekeeping, etc. My mission, if I chose to accept it, is to relearn to relax and enjoy my life. Starting a new venture shouldn’t consume my every waking hour nor the time that I should be sleeping. Now back to finding rest.
Come Away, My Beloved
The first part of Mark 6:31 says, “…come away by yourselves to a deserted place, and rest and a while.” I recall a time that I spent journaling. One in particular was “Come Away My Beloved” by Francis Wright. This meditation journal is a personal guide to finding that place of peace and rest. I wish I could find it. Getting away to that secret place (Psalms 91:1) is important to finding that rest. The scripture found in Psalms is quoted when I really just can’t seem to get a grip and go to sleep. Since God promises His people “sweet sleep” or “blessings in sleep” then I need to grab a hold to it. That secret place is an awesome place to be. Find it and hold on to it! There you will find your peace and rest.
As for me, I’m putting my computer away and I’m going to just chill. Maybe I’ll actually read an article from one of those magazines. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll just get some sleep.
Remember that God’s love is never relegated by what we do or who we are. There is forgiveness for the dumb and not so dumb stuff we do. There is peace and rest for those who seek it out. Most of all, there is a relationship like none other; one that transcends time and even our quirky personalities. That relationship is with Jesus Christ. It’s a gift and the best one you could ever give yourself.
The journey continues…
to boldly go where I haven’t gone before…
“I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health,
even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2
Note: The painting, “Healing Touch” is one that I fell in love with. Unfortunately I lost the information on the original painting. If anyone sees this and finds the name of the painter please let me know. I must give honor where honor is due. Thank you.