It’s hot outside. There’s no disputing the intensity of the heat and humidity that has settled in on us in the last few days. By now, you all know that I am not a fan of excessive heat. It isn’t just that it makes me uncomfortable; it actually has an impact on my bodymind.
Because of dysautonomia, all of my autonomic systems are slow on a good day. Add in the heat and humidity and my blood pressure doesn’t keep up. I feel a bit sluggish and can easily become lightheaded when I stand up too fast. As a result, I’m going nowhere in a hurry. Slowly and intentionally, sure. Not quickly, though.
As my bodymind responds poorly to the heat, I find myself thinking that a heat wave is a great metaphor for spiritual sluggishness. Sometimes we are reluctant to engage with the world around us. We feel a bit foggy or tired. We need rest. We need something to beat the metaphoric heat.
When we are talking about literal heat, we can all find ways to cool off. Everything from cold drinks to a swim in a lake or pool. I’ve seen a lot of creative ways to get through these hot and humid days.
However, when it comes to a more spiritual heat and humidity, we tend to give in rather than find a way to “beat the heat.” Stress, fear, despair and more can make us believe we need to disengage, drop out of things, keep to ourselves.
While taking rest when we need it is important and healthy, the kind of malaise that leads us to want to isolate ourselves doesn’t usually lead to healthy rest. Usually, these kinds of feelings grow bigger when we distance ourselves from friends and community. When we are least inclined to reach out to those we love (or to gather for worship), is likely when we need to the most.
If you are experiencing a spiritual heat wave as well as this physical one, I encourage you to be as creative in beating the heat spiritually as you can be physically. There are countless ways to connect with folx – text, call, message, email, Zoom, face-to-face, etc.
When you are pouring yourself a glass of ice cold water, perhaps pour two and invite a friend to share with. When the weather becomes uncomfortably hot, inside or out, it’s important to remember that we are all connected and that we need one another.
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