Jay De Man

rest

Though rife with merit (who can avoid the wisdom of applying the very best you can give to those things which ask it?), I find myself disassembling expectation in order to relearn how to rest. 

Sky such as this just invites reflection. 

Sky such as this just invites reflection. 

I have a natively high-achievement personality. Challenges are my preferred place of being. I don’t say no to more; I usually invite it. I laugh with happiness when faced with a particularly large or sudden development which requires my attention –– for some reason, I have been built with the sort of personality that loves to drive forward, explore and wander from thing to thing, looking for more. 

But, I am now impressed by my own body, and by some of the more-relaxed friends of mine, with the necessity of rest. Specifically, a rest which is not guilty; a rest which is a place of healing. Even if a person is particularly good at running, if they don’t rest, they may destroy the fitness they seek. Here at Calvin, more opportunity and more purchase into what seems important has been provided for me than most any other time in my life, yet I find now that it has not before been more important to step outside of expectation and enter into rest. 

This, and susurrus. 

This, and susurrus. 

How can anyone manage this? And why would it be that as soon as I take time to have nothing to do, I cannot help but begin to feel deeply things which are uncomfortable to feel? 

It may be the case in my own experience that I am often driven to accomplish just as much to avoid thinking about the difficult, soul-changing things in my experience, and that in refusing to be still, to reflect, and to listen to those things I hastily pass by, I lose contact with a truer state of being. I realize that for many, this is not an original thought: I do not mean it to be, but I include you in my journey as I begin to place more and more importance on things like sleep, recreation, and stillness. 

You cannot starve the body to feed the soul. If I place upon myself the expectation for perfection, I find that someway or another I end up wounding my body or distressing my soul. It has been good to feel this again, and far more practically than before, because I am afforded the opportunity to engage my education not only in terms of what can be achieved, but also what can become in me. 

The extraordinary science building, literal moments before first snow. 

The extraordinary science building, literal moments before first snow. 

After all, this whole thing is about coming closer to the sort of person I am supposed to be, something well beyond title, merit, and name. 

Just another facet of the ever-growing Calvin experience.