Traditionally, creating a Rule of Life has been a key component of spiritual growth and direction. These rhythms are not only helpful for spiritual growth, they are also a good foundation for your mental and relational health.
Rhythms involve opposites. These patterns of life include solitude and companionship, rest and work, knowledge and experience, prayer and service, action and meditation. Notice that these go back and forth between active effort and passive refreshment.
Life involves ups and downs. The idea of rhythm is natural and normal. Many people struggle to accept both sides of life, particularly the low points. Creating a life rhythm gets you back in tune with the natural rhythms of the world.
I hear from many people that they wish things could always be good, that they could always be happy, and that they could be more outgoing and positive. But this isn’t realistic and sets you up for disappointment.
It takes effort to get in tune with yourself to see what you need. You will have times of expansion where you do feel social, active, and capable. There will also be times when you feel a need for rest, for stepping back, and for quiet solitude.
Notice this solitude is different from the isolation that often comes alongside depression. This is where discernment is important. If you feel like your desire to be alone comes from depression, your true need is social activity. Soul-refreshing solitude balances times of activity when you give from your strengths.
If you feel like your life is out of balance or if you feel pressured to keep up action and positivity without rest, go back and read the list above. Notice what words you are drawn to. Use your discernment to see what you truly need.
I can help you discern your values and find balance between action and rest. Through therapy, we can look at your patterns of life and examine how it is affecting you, your relationships, and your spiritual life. Then we can gently restructure your schedule to allow you to return to the natural rhythms of life.