They that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint.(Isaiah 40:31)
This scripture came to me as I lay on the floor, having fallen out of bed from exhaustion when the alarm rang. My legs simply had no immediate intention of obeying my mind. As I lay there, wondering how I had come to such a crossroads in life – a life that, for all intents and purposes from an outsider’s perspective at least – appeared to have been otherwise well-lived, I made a promise to get more rest and take seriously the doctor’s several warnings about the consequences of dehydration and insufficient rest.
Exhaustion had quite literally invited me to fall out of bed. Laying there, making the best of things as they appeared, shaking silently with laughter so as not to cry or wake my husband, I logged nine of the 30 minutes prescribed daily for realigning my spine and thought back to conversations held yesterday and across the years with women who, like me, were simply no good at putting the oxygen mask on ourselves before attempting to help fellow travelers.
What good would it do, after all, if we saved every life but our own? Perhaps that question misses the mark, but it gets me closer to the frontlines where we must become our own best defense. As the snooze alarm sounded, I got up and asked the Lord to carry me through the day. Instantly, I began to feel the energies of the spirit buoying me, very much like wind beneath my wings. We have a chance to craft a journey different from the one sketched so poignantly in Beaches. We can encourage one another as examples of self-caring in the big and little moments of our lives. Over time, and with God’s promises, we can restore the years the locusts have eaten.
As I took the next steps toward getting dressed and out the door, albeit late, an idea for an international online support group for women blossomed to the smallest detail. Part of the inspiration had come from the perfect storm that had been a team teaching presentation offered by Basic Writing students yesterday, Ending Racism, Being Proactive and Carrying Your Weather With You.
Of course, given the trajectories of our lives and distances between our dwellings, there would be no official synchronous meetings of the support group, only a shared and active commitment to better self-care, [to be defined individually on Stephen Covey’s collaborative goal-tending and achievement website] using confidentiality guidelines and liberation theories on community-building, cultivating allies and the Art of Listening set forth by the International Re-evaluation Counseling communities I’d been a member of until I moved out of the region a few years ago.
The battle lies within. Our weapons? Ourselves. If you’re tired of being tired, are you with me?