Today Darla (my sister) and I were discussing something she read and it really hit a chord with me. The quote went something like this "It is just as wrong to try to coerce yourself to do things you don't want to do as it is to coerce someone else." Coerce--means to make someone do something against their will or to force them. I have never thought that I might be coercing myself, but today I was trying to force myself to do the SHOULDS, and I was certainly resisting. I had intended on mopping the kitchen and bathroom floors, shaking the rugs, and cleaning the bathrooms, but in order to get it done I would have had to force myself.
After I talked to Darla I decided against forcing myself (coercing myself) because I am really needing some rest and recuperation because I am so weary from doing all the SHOULD DO'S this week. Of course, looking back I can see why I might be feeling too tired to do chores today. I fixed three healthy meals a day every day, went to my appointment on Monday and had Home Evening, had a full-day of chores on Tuesday and then went out with the full-time missionaries that night, planned menus and went grocery shopping Wednesday morning and went to our missionary assignment both Wednesday and Thursday which was very demanding, and we also went to the temple on Friday afternoon! Almost all of those were difficult to make myself do because I have been feeling so washed out from my allergies, and yet duty-bound I pretty much made myself do them all.
So right now I am doing something simply because I WANT to, and not because it is something I SHOULD do. I get satisfaction from writing and even though it isn't necessarily restful it IS rejuvenating to do something I enjoy.
The interesting thing is that no-one else cares whether the floors and bathrooms are cleaned. The fact of the matter is that no-one else will even know whether or not I did it, and no-one was expecting me to do those things--only me! Therefore, just because the floors and the bathrooms could use some cleaning doesn't mean I am duty-bound to do them unless that would please me more than doing something else. I DO like a clean house, but not at the expense of my own health and well-being. Sometimes taking a break from the have-to's or should-do's and resting my mind or the body is more important than having a clean house this minute or this day. There is always another day!
So my challenge is to learn not to coerce myself to do things I really don't want to do when my mind or my body is telling me it is time for something else. That doesn't mean I will never make myself do things I don't want to do. All of us have to do that at times just to keep our lives running smoothly and to fulfill important obligations or carry out our priorities. BUT there has to be a balance. Therein lies the challenge.