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A Tuesday Blessing

It is an unfortunate and very real sign of these times, that uncertainty and instability reign for some, as unemployment, foreclosure and homelessness is a reality for others.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that, based on the latest studies, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that during routine office visits, anti-depressants are the third most prescribed class of drugs. Mind you, this study was based on figures from 2008, so I believe that in light of the current recession that just won’t end, multiple wars, a political discourse that encourages divisiveness, strife, and even hatred, it is more likely than not that the use of such drugs has increased. Of course, that is not to say that all of us resort to medications, but in some cases, it is necessary.  Also, make no mistake, unchecked stress and its resulting symptoms may endanger your health and  should be treated seriously. For a discussion of the ways that constant stress may impact your health, read this Mayo Clinic article.    

In general, many of us are exhausted–either, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  This is a blessing and a reminder that this too shall pass.

A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted
by John O’Donohue
When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The ride you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

–John O’Donohue, from “Blessings”

Blessings, Lydia

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