This week I’m taking vacation so I can work. Work is piling up at my job, I’m neglecting activities needed for my own businesses, and even things in my personal life are slipping.
I need some space to unearth myself. And my solution for getting it is taking a break from my usual commitments, clearing out the clutter, resetting my priorities, and starting anew.
We all have times like this. Many marrieds in the Church think we singles have so much time on our hands because we don’t have families of our own. That’s obviously not true for single parents. They have constant double duty. But the lives of LDS singles who don’t have children can be just as busy, as my recent experience testifies.
Last week I extolled our need to live in the moment to get all of the joy out of life. I did so with the full understanding that sometimes life happens, making it difficult to live in the moment. With so many good things pulling us in different directions, it’s easy to get swept away in the cares of right now. How can you have the presence of mind to live in the moment?
Make a space
I heard a speaker in sacrament meeting give a great answer to that question. She described the challenges of being a young mother who needed to attend to her children while also being able to engage regular scripture study. Obviously young children require a great deal of attention, so how do you find that balance?
Her answer was to arise early enough before her little ones awake so she can focus on immersing herself in the scriptures before they cry for attention. In other words, she made a space in which she could live consciously without other interests tugging on her.
Sometimes living with intent is hard. It’s really easy to allow the concerns of right now to sweep us away. And sometimes those concerns yell so loudly and incessantly it’s hard to find any joy in the moment.
Yet we can’t get so busy with the everyday that we don’t fill our souls. We can’t stay happy in the moment unless we stop long enough for the Lord to feed us. And that requires us to make conscious choices to be fed and nourished.
It's about the journey
forward . . . That’s how winning is done!” Living fully isn’t about reaching an ideal. It’s about struggling to reach that ideal. It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.
Sometimes moving forward means standing still. When life seems to crowd in around us, we need to choose consciously to stop and clear the space we need to nourish ourselves. And every aspect of us needs nourishment.
Our most important aspect to nourish is the spirit. Regular prayer and scripture study can work wonders. But we need to clear sufficient space and be conscious in our approach for them to be most effective. Just going through the motions won’t feed our souls.
Likewise we need to nourish the heart. Quality time with family and friends as well as engaging regular opportunities for service make life meaningful and enjoyable. Again, going through the motions won’t nourish us.
We also need to nourish the mind. Reading good books rounds our character and encourages us to emulate virtue. So can worthy cultural events. But in order to reap the benefit, we need to clear the space they need to exist.
And we can’t forget to nourish the body. This means embracing healthy eating habits and regular exercise. But it also means having healthy financial habits and improving the skills needed for our career.
Of course, how you choose to nourish yourself is your choice. Just make sure your choice is yours. Do what you do not because of how it will look to others but because of how it looks to you.
Make the time to fill your soul. Life will always try to knock you down, but you can better weather the storm with the inner strength that comes from nourishing all the aspects of yourself.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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