You Can Relax Without Learning How

Saturday afternoon sunbeams splash through the windows creating a mosaic of shadows on the walls and floor, warming the room and inviting me to sit a spell.  It is almost magical and it frightens me because relaxing is akin to waving the white flag of surrender.  Relaxing is the slippery hill that leads to hell.  Relaxing requires that I ignore the puritan work ethic so deeply engrained in my bones and psyche and renounce at least temporarily the unproven link between my ability to work hard and my salvation.  The sunbeams casting puddles of warmth are just another form of temptation; they are sirens luring me toward the damning pit of laziness.

The Nap

There on the couch lies my husband without regard for his salvation, blissfully snoozing in the sun.  I have  a momentary twinge of angst.  You know the one.  It has an edge of self-pity and martyrdom, and wonders why I am the only person in this house doing all the work.  Yes, I acknowledge that hyperbole laces that analysis.  These days the hyperbole is becoming a quieter voice that is only heard inside my head.

God is very patient with me and with my hyperboles.  When I take a minute to think about this relaxing phenomena, I realize that God started over thirty years ago in earnest trying to help me get it.  I confess to being a slow learner on some counts.  I married a man who has napping in his DNA, that was God's first attempt at exposing me to a new paradigm on relaxation.  Then we had kids.  They heard dad offer up the word 'relaxing' as an explanation for his catnaps on the couch back in the day when I couldn't walk past the napping man without having a meltdown.

Just 'laxing

One day the house was very quiet which isn't a good thing when you have toddlers on the premise but not in sight.  I thought I should investigate the quietness, and called out asking what they were doing.   The response was "Just  'laxing."  And so, the phrase became part of our family lexicon.  Alas, I still was not willing to actually relax but I did become quite fond of the idea of 'laxing.

Over time, liking the idea led to researching the subject, scheduling time into my day to read and meditate, and otherwise adding additional activities about relaxing instead of actually figuring out what relaxing was about.  One can get oneself into a pickle when you miss the obvious.  But God doesn't give up.  And so, Kanti came into our lives.

The Luxury of Being You

Now instead of just having one man snoozing in the sun on the couch, I also have to step over a dog stretched out happily in the sun oblivious to the world.  It is getting harder and harder for me to miss the point of relaxing which is to just be still and do absolutely nothing.  I need to accept that it can't be learned and so in that sense it is a form of surrender.  When Kanti stretches out, belly exposed, snoring in the sunshine, she epitomizes the concept of 'laxing.  For those moments, she is not on guard duty or impatiently prompting you to play, she has decided that things are good in her world and she can luxuriate in it.  Ultimately I think relaxing is accepting that you are enough, you do not need to spend every waking moment researching, learning, improving, cleaning, exercising, or whatever.  You can luxuriate in just being who God made you.  Not who God made you to be, because that implies you haven't arrived yet and sets off the craziness again.  But just who God made you.