When I talk to a friend I haven’t seen for a while, asking how she has been, I expect the usual response, “I’ve been busy.” All too frequently when asked how I am doing I find my reply mirrors this sentiment as well.
I’ve just been busy.
But what have I been busy doing?
Is there a difference between living fully and living busy?
Busyness could relate to a full life that is complete with responsibilities and relationships that bring deep meaning.
Yet most often busyness in excess is intwined with stress.
If you find yourself pressured by a busy lifestyle and want to change the first thing to do is look at the root of the problem.
Why are you busy? Before you can change, you have to figure out the mindsets behind the behavior.
These are some motives for a busy life.
1.Busyness is tied to self-worth.
When someone asks how you are doing it feels good to be able to list your activities, as if the activity gives you a purpose and reason for your life on earth. If the activity is related to church it might make you feel like you are among the super spiritual. If the activity is related to your kids it might make you feel like you are a good parent.
Ruth Haley Barton in her book Invitation to Silence and Solitude, makes this confession, “I can be very, very busy and look very, very important but be unable to hear the quiet, sure voice of the One who calls me the beloved. When that happens, I lose touch with that place in the center of my being where I know who I am in God, where I know what I am called to do, and where I am responsive to his voice above all others. When this happens, I am at the mercy of all manner of external forces, tossed and turned by others’ expectations and my own compulsions. These inner lacks then become the source of my frenetic activity, keeping me forever spiraling into deeper levels of exhaustion.” (P60)
2. Busyness is because you are driven to accomplish.
Perhaps you have a dream that you are trying to reach. You want to get there as fast as you can, so every minute is focused on this goal to the extent that you never give yourself permission to enjoy quiet moments for the soul.
A friend of mine just posted this quote on Instagram: “The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea
Don’t strive so hard. Work steadily towards your goal but have patience and faith.
3.Busyness gives you the feeling that you are in control of your life.
To stop being busy would mean that you admit that this life is not the sum total of your efforts. Some personalities are especially prone to this. When they make up their mind to go to the gym they go seven days a week rather than a moderate four or five. Dr. Saundra Dalton in her newly released book Sacred Rest (which is also part of this month’s giveaway) writes “Rest requires submission of the soul, and the soul wants what the soul wants. It fights back against rest by holding up all the pretty fruit busyness is producing. It never gives you time to cut inside that same fruit to see the rot and decay at the core, decay that will inevitably surface when you’re ready to take a bite into the busy life you’ve created.
4. Busyness keeps you from acknowledging the empty places.
Silence, inactivity, and being disconnected from social media allows you to feel what is empty within your own soul. We all have empty places within us that need the healing touch of the presence of God. If you fill your life with constant noise you might be running away from healing, trying to cover up your pain with all the activity.
5. Busyness comes from an inability to say ‘no’.
When someone asks you to do something sometimes it is hard to say no if you don’t have a good sense of what you value or if you have never set up boundaries around your time and energy. An inability to say ‘no’ could also stem from feelings of guilt, and a false sense of responsibility for someone else’s problem. Just like when you are out shopping you can’t buy the entire store of fashionable clothing without causing financial ruin: you can’t say yes to every activity of life without sacrificing your soul and probably your health.You can’t say yes to every activity of life without sacrificing your soul Click To Tweet
For more on the topic of guilt this post may be helpful:
Life Coach Moment:
Do you feel busy all the time?
Take a moment to think about your activities. List what you are busy doing.
Renew Your Mind in Truth
Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
God did not intend for you to become a constant doer. He will give strength for everything that you need to do. Seek Him and let Him show you what it is that He wants you to do.
Since each of you may have a different reason you struggle with busyness you each have to address it in a different way. In order to change your behavior, you start by changing your thoughts according to what is true.
- For those who find their self-worth in busyness: I am not what I do. God loved me so much that He sent His Son for me.
- For those busy trying to accomplish: God will fulfill His plans for me in His time, I will choose to trust Him.
- For those who feel that busyness gives them control: I am not in charge, God is.
- For those who are busy trying to fill their emptiness: Empty places are an opportunity to find satisfaction in God.
- For those who can’t say ‘no’: _________ is not my responsibility, first I need to care for me soul.
For more on this series check out last week’s post on how to build this quiet space into your life by creating 80/20 margin.
And if you like to send greeting cards check out our library of printable cards
Latest posts by Naomi (see all)
- The Battle in Your Mind as You Try Developing a Quiet Heart & Giveaway - January 18, 2018
- 5 Reasons You Let Busyness Run Your Life & Giveaway - January 11, 2018
- Learn to Cultivate Soul Space by Planning Times of Silence & giveaway - January 1, 2018