How much does rest really cost you?
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question?
At a first glance, this self-examination might strike you to instantaneously place a ‘price tag’ on rest.
Or maybe it might even incite you to take inventory of all the things that have more prominence over your idea of rest. Or maybe you felt a stirring to reflect on whether or not you value rest as a practice in general. Whether you realize it or not, rest indeed costs you something…
I would propose the argument that our present-day society as a whole is in fact the antithesis of the principle of rest. Modern pop-culture praises and affirms those who hustle and grind, and promotes the arcing narrative that rest is non-congruent with success… that if you do nothing, nothing will happen. These ideals are toxic not only towards the inner-clock of our bodies and self being, but are drastically detrimental towards [our] mental-health and ourselves as spiritual beings. Hustle and grind alone, without a proper balance of rest and reflection, is merely a gateway to exhaustion and perfectionism. Perfectionism being the catalyst that hinders us from entering a state-of-mind of rest and contentment, for it is perfectionism itself that robs us from tranquility.
We don’t realize it within our peak moments, but perfectionism is the mother of dissatisfaction.
It is within our nature as human beings that we lack self-compassion, and forget that we are in fact human beings, not human doings. It is both in our nature as individuals to conquer and to achieve, to produce our absolute best in all that we do. However, this ambition can easily translate to inhibition when we fail to allow grace for error within our humanness. Margin for imperfection is what leads many, if not most of us into a cycle of merely doing, and not being. We do, we work, and we grind until we find ourselves entering a state of occupational nirvana, which is only perfectionism in masquerade. We then stand back and glance at our works with dissatisfaction, for we know within our inner-beings that something is missing; the beauty of our humanity. It is our imperfect, flawed beings that make us who we are. It is our quirks that construct individuality, and our scars that write songs. It is the kind-of perfectionism that the world preaches today that blinds us from the beauty within our imperfections.
So, what do we do to re-write this narrative?
What do we do to combat the ideology of modern-day perfectionism?
In its simplest form, we must recognize that rest is our weapon. Rest is the protest against the worlds’ standard of perfectionism. Although rest costs us something, it frees us from something greater. ‘Rest’ asks us to set aside our own view of satisfaction, in efforts to obtain true contentment and tranquility. ‘Rest’ requires us to face our imperfections head on, and acknowledge that it’s the beauty of humanity that makes us who we are. ‘Rest’ simultaneously costs us and frees us from our pride. ‘Rest’ reminds us that there isn’t anything that we could ever say or do that could produce more beauty than the beauty of our humanity.
Rest costs us something, but frees us from everything.