Taming Our Restlessness


“Peace and joy can come to us only when we stop demanding that life – our spouses, our families, our friends, our vocations and vacations – give us something that they cannot give, namely, the finished symphony, clear-cut joy, complete consummation.”

-- Ron Rolheiser, author, speaker, priest

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Restlessness is like an undertow in the ocean.  It is almost always present, sometimes raging forcefully, other times it just nags at you, and every once in a while, it momentarily disappears, but usually not for long.

Why do you so often feel the undertow of restlessness? Isn’t your life full with work, family and other worthwhile efforts? Are you just being greedy and selfish when this feeling surfaces?

Most spiritual leaders would say restlessness is part of your human condition, because you were created with an infinite spirit.  So does that mean you just have to live with it? To some degree, yes, but there are ways to tame it.  Giving in to the urge to seek more activity is not one of those ways because it only serves to fan the flames of restlessness.  Instead, seek solitude and quiet.  It is in those moments of silence and introspection that your restlessness can be comfortably contained.