I have a love hate relationship with sleep. On one hand I love to sleep and on the other hand I have trouble quieting my mind to go to sleep. My sleepless nights have given me plenty of time to ponder sleep and the various ways in which we can sleep through life; even when we are awake.
The last time I physically slept through life was in 8th grade when I got mono and literally slept from Spring break all the way to the last day of school. That is the ultimate case of sleeping through life, but in reality many people find themselves physically, emotionally, or spiritually sleeping through a phase in life.
The words “I’m bored” are like fingernails on a chalkboard to parents, but sometimes we give ourselves a free pass when we utter the words ourselves. The sloth of boredom can be completely eliminated from our lives when we have a commitment to a mission. Inaction is a magnet to boredom, stinking thinking and mediocrity. When we find some way to be productive we avoid some of the sleep traps of life.
Sleeping Beauty Trap
One definition of sleep is, “dormancy or inactivity.” I have found myself in that state when I have been so overwhelmed I don’t know what to do next. You know the stance – deer in the headlight look worn on the face while taking up the fetal position on the couch. Problems and worries stacked neatly upon your shoulders with a to-do list too tall to see over in front of your face. Eventually either the fetal position becomes permanent, or we uncurl from the couch and start one tiny toe step at a time towards action. Like the saying goes – how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
The definition of sleepwalking is, “the act or state of walking, eating, or performing other motor acts while asleep, of which one is unaware upon awakening.” I have to admit that there have been times in the past when I was sleepwalking through my days. There is nothing rewarding about sleeping through life. My definition of sleepwalking through life is, ‘an overwhelming numbness that leaves one out of touch with reality leaving the distinct impression unconsciousness.’ The line between reality and dreams because fuzzy due to the lack of emotional connection made with the world around you.
Sleep Deprived Trap
The definition of sleep deprivation is, “the condition of being robbed of sleep, in real life or in experiment, as opposed to being unable to sleep.” This definition is also known as, motherhood, especially in the first few months. However, it is the most blissful form of sleep deprivation one can ever experience. Sometimes we steal our own sleep with worry, guilt, shame, hurts and anger. This is an easy trap to fall into especially for women and is also the most common cause of falling into the Sleepwalking Trap of life. For me my struggle that my creativity sparks in the quiet of the night. I am working hard to faithfully write out the ideas in the notebook I keep on my nightstand. Balance is a daily battle and some days I lose but the next day is new and I can try again.
Freedom from Traps
Whatever you do don’t allow your life to look a lot like, “A state of inactivity resembling or suggesting sleep; unconsciousness, dormancy, hibernation, or death.” I’m sure somewhere between the state of sleepwalking and sleeplessness is a healthy balance. Find your healthy balance. When you find your life bordering on sleepwalking fight back with action. The magnet pulling us towards purpose is action.
Just the thought of wasting the gifts God gave me is enough to keep me moving each day towards writing the next book, the next blog post or sharing something new.
How about you? What motivates you.