When is the last time that you thought of rest as a sanctuary for and in your life? For that matter, when did you think of rest as a form of compassion?
I was reminded of these qualities of rest when I visited the Friday's Keeper's group last week. It was a spontaneous visit in that I saw the Keepers in the Calvin Room and I decided to poke my head in to say hello. Alice Ann Nilsen waved me in and invited me to participate in a conversation regarding the gifts of the Spirit. That day they were studying compassion, so I focused on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of compassion.
Blending theology with concepts from human development I shared my belief that we are created in the image of God and that compassion is initially shared and received through facial looks and tones in the space between the infant and caregivers' faces. This compassionate space is practiced and shared throughout life as we express the spiritual gift of compassion. An experience of relaxed joyfulness is often experienced.
That's the good. Of course, the bad is when compassion is not shared. Enough said!
When in the caregiver role, we can experience what is known as compassion fatigue. The depletion felt in the soul is the ugly because even though sharing compassion is an expression of our better self, the fatigue often leads us to experiences of being less than our better self. Our conversation turned to the need for rest as a compassion form of self-care.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. This commandment is the second longest of the Ten Commandments; however, it is the one that we most often ignore. For our own self-care God tells us to take a break! Yet how often we feel guilty when we stop to rest! I mentioned to the Keepers that good self-care involves what I call plop and drop! The Sabbath is a sanctuary of rest for the compassionate!
So take care of yourselves my friends; plop and drop! God says so according to the Commandments.
Buddy and Walker invite you to Plop and Drop!