Sunday mornings are best spent quiet.
I grew up Catholic but never really observed the Sabbath. Till today, I don’t think I deliberately set aside time to rest on Sundays. In fact, I know little about its significance.
Apparently, the word “Sabbath” has its roots in Judaism. The Jews have a word, “Shabbat”, which in Hebrew refers to a day of rest and spiritual enrichment. The word comes from the root Shin-Beit-Tav, meaning to cease, to end or to rest.
In fact, Shabbat is the most important ritual observance in Judaism. It is the only ritual observance instituted in the Ten Commandments. (Source: Jewfaq.org).
I am not religious. I won’t even venture to say I’m very spiritual these days. But from a very secular perspective, I respect that in the bigger scheme of things, there is a time for everything.
And one of these things – I believe – is rest.
Rest is even harder to do as a freelance writer because I don’t work 9-to-5. I don’t have “leave to clear” or a clear concept of “after-work hours”. Worse, I am a mother of twins. When does a mother go off-service?
But on this Sunday, I am reminded that we all need to allow ourselves to take a break from all the labouring. It’s not wrong. It’s not being lazy. And there shouldn’t be any guilt involved.
It may not end up being a Sunday – it may be a Wednesday or a Saturday – but one day a week. And unless we give ourselves permission through a conscious decision, we won’t.
I love this quote by one of my favourite inspirational writers, Maya Angelou:
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
Counter-intuitive as it may be, it’s our ego that gets in the way sometimes. But an ex-colleague of mine, Samantha, told me something many moons ago. She said, “We’re not indispensable. The world will go on without us – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
So let’s make rest a weekly discipline – as it was intended.
Let’s first allow ourselves. Then let’s discipline ourselves to practise it into a habit. We may not realise the wisdom of Ancient Wisdoms till we give it a shot.