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“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence… [and that is] activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence.
The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
~ Thomas Merton, quoted in “Sabbath”
“Whatever the cause of perfectionism, it keeps our energy tied up in almost-finished projects, never allowing us to claim the rewards of completion – or to come in touch with the glowing energy of satisfaction.” ~ Maria Nemeth
“In the relentless busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between work and rest… Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something – anything – is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet these ever-growing expectations, we do not rest. Because we do not rest, we lose our way. We miss the compass points that would show us where to go, we bypass the nourishment that would give us succor. We miss the quiet that would give us wisdom. We miss the joy and love born of effortless delight…
…the whole experience of being alive begins to melt into one enormous obligation. It becomes the standard greeting everywhere: I am so busy.
We say this to one another with no small degree of pride, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, our ability to withstand stress a mark of real character. The busier we are, the more important we seem to ourselves, and we imagine, to others. To be unavailable to our friends and family, to be unable to find time for the sunset…, to whiz through our obligations without time for a single, mindful breath, this has become the model of a successful life…
How have we allowed this to happen? This was not our intention, not the world we dreamed when we were young and our whole life was full of possibility and promise. How did we get so terribly lost in a world saturated with striving and grasping, yet somehow bereft of joy and delight?”
~ Wayne Muller in “Sabbath”
“…the only way to create a successful life based on your values and deepest longings
(let alone the only way to maintain your sanity), is to take your hands off the wheel
and become masterful at asking for and receiving help. You cannot manage your home, care for your personal needs, honor your emotional and physical health, be successful at work, or be the kind of parent you hope to be without the support of others.”
~ Cheryl Richardson
July 12, 2021