Respite: A short interval of rest or relief

Sad, confused?

“A person’s world is only as big as their heart.”
– Tanya A. Moore

When confronted with confusing and conflicting occurrences, sometimes our reaction is to pull in or “hunker down,” cutting ourselves off from others, even friends and family. When we stop sharing our lives with others, we may be lessening our heart health, in the sense that our good feelings toward others shrivel with disuse. We may even feel awkward just saying hello to people, experiencing feelings of shame and insecurity. Our world seems unrecognizable as we ask ourselves, “what did I do wrong,” or “am I still a viable and valued person with thoughts that matter?”

Although inner reflection is a good and positive thing, which everyone should probably do more of, we need to temper it with things like saying “Hello, how are you?” to the clerk at the store; or waving at a neighbor we see on the street or wishing the crossing guard a good day. When our “normal” world changes abruptly, it provides us an opportunity to see that which has not been seen before. In acknowledging that new world, our heart expands to include those we had not previously seen, resulting in a delightful reciprocity that we ourselves are seen.

– Connie Popp

Dr. Connie PoppDr. Connie Popp is a board member for The Center for Life Transitions as well as an active facilitator for the Center’s Life-SHIFT and Job Search Courage programs. She is also the Director of Campus Ministry at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Read more.