I haven’t been sleeping well over the past few days — perhaps week. There’s a connection, I am certain, to feeling off my game – distracted – worried – and derailed. The irony is that I know (based on much experience) that when I am on my game and keeping life (and it’s challenges) all in the proper perspective – when I prioritize correctly – everything else, including sleep, falls into place. Knowing and doing, however, are two completely different things. Therein lies the challenge. I have to wonder and thus ask, why is it so difficult to just keep everything on track? Is it a reminder (a ‘humbler’, if you will) that there’s still a lot of work to do? That I can’t sit back on my laurels because there’s more spiritual progress to make? That it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle? I wish I had the answer but on this subject I can only speak for myself and of my own experience.
There is something to be said for the periods (or moments) in life when your spiritual progress is positive and everything seems to fit neatly into place. You put your trust in God to get you through what is difficult and you incorporate practices that keep you operating on that higher plane of existence that doesn’t let the secular dogs nipping at your heels latch on and sink in their teeth (much). But what about those other times when progress seems to stagnate – the dry spells? Where do we find inspiration to push forward? How do we will ourselves to move past what drags us down and continue to TRUST? To BELIEVE? To LOVE? To LET GO?
Those are the moments (or the days, weeks, months, even years) of building true character. Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is a great spiritual workout. Nothing worth having comes easy, right? There is a lot of truth in that cliche. I have to remind myself repeatedly that there will be times when I must accept the struggles and push on, even when I feel defeated, or tired, or sad. I push on because I know that being ‘on my game’ is possible. I push on because I know what is at stake.
So I give up on the sleep for a night. And I go back to the basics that I know can steer me in the right direction. The very basics. The beginnings. The foundation of everything else. Simplify. Ground myself. Accept my humanity.