Emotional Rest Series – part 1

I enter my apartment; it’s after 9:00pm. I have been up since 6:00am and haven’t stopped. I pour myself a full glass of wine, put a bag of popcorn in the microwave because I can’t be bothered cooking, and turn on the TV. My phone is still buzzing with emails and to do lists. I think, “I’m not getting paid enough to put up with this!” Frustration sets in. I’m disappointed with myself that I haven’t gone to the gym in a month or called back my best friend or even had the energy to clean my house. Gradually the wine and the TV begin to numb out the nagging thoughts. Then 6am rolls around again and I am hurled into another day of people demanding my attention. I would sleep but I wouldn’t rest. I would check out but I wouldn’t fill up.

Hard worker

I have always had a high value for working hard. I had my own car washing business when I was 10 and worked in my Aunty’s take away shop when I was 13. Working hard is something I find purpose in and thrive on. I was really good at working hard for other people but would sacrifice myself over and over again to meet the needs of someone else.

If I did take a break, like a long weekend, I would get extremely sick! My body was screaming at me to stop. Survival mode told me I didn’t have a choice. I had bills to pay, and I was determined to be seen as responsible. I wanted to live up to other people’s expectations of me. I had become a victim of work, a slave to what people think. I subconsciously thought performing to everyone’s expectations of me would give me acceptance and love.

I was constantly running in circles trying to figure out how to do life well. How do I serve my community, love people, show up for them, be generous and take care of me? Is taking care of me selfish? How do I work hard, but not burn out? Can I say no to my leader or boss? Is sacrifice as a lifestyle the most commendable life?

 Love is the key

The game changer for me was learning how to love myself. Our culture might say the problem is we love ourselves too much, meaning self love is selfish. But I don’t agree. In the Bible it says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” The hidden wisdom is you will be a good lover of others when you know how to love yourself. I lived my life mostly frustrated at other people’s incompetency, but then I realized my frustration was holding a mirror up to my frustration at myself in areas I felt incompetent.

September 2014 was when everything changed. My life was turned upside down and inside out. I took a risk in moving to another country and became a student. I was literally forced to not work. This was not easy for me, a recovering workaholic. Subconsciously all my worth was wrapped up in how I performed and what people thought of me. These past couple of years I’ve been unwrapping the beliefs that have kept me locked in a prison of hustling for self worth. I have been navigating the tension of when to work and when to rest. Does rest mean doing nothing? Or is it an emotional state? What is excellence? How can I be excellent at what I do without sacrificing myself, and those around me? What am I actually good at? How do I respect someone’s opinion but not sacrifice my own? Is it ok to disappoint people? What makes me come alive? Is it ok to do the thing I love? What do I love? Life is full of tension, come join me as I navigate the tricky tensions of life!

This post is the start of a series about my journey on living a life of emotional rest. I want to unpack further what loving yourself looks like. To get regular updates in your inbox feel free to subscribe!

Questions to ponder…

When was the first time you felt like you needed to perform for love?

What parts of your life do you feel robbed of choice?

Ella is a Life Coach, Speaker and Writer with a passion for story telling, wholeness and living the life you always imagined! Learn more about Ella here and connect via email, instagram or facebook!

4 Comments

  1. Love you babe and love this — so proud of you and this is SO SO good and powerful.

  2. Pingback:Self Awareness - Ella Hooper

  3. Lauren Griffin

    Just read this and it really struck a chord! Been thinking about how this constant need to ‘deliver’ to prove yourself without really thinking or taking a moment to really connect with yourself and what you really want from life. At the moment, I’m taking a bit of a break and just allowing myself to ignore my to-do lists until it feels right to me to chose to do it rather than manically trying to get to that magic point just beyond the horizon of what I ‘should’ do each day. Thank you for sharing – enjoying your blog!

    • Wow Lauren, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blogs and I’m so glad it struck a chord with you! You are full of depth and wisdom 🙂 I hope you are doing well!! xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram

  • Have you ever said "I've told you a million times, why don't you listen?" Even with the best intentions sometimes our words of wisdom don't seem to resonate with the person... have you ever wondered why?⠀
⠀
I'm a verbal processor but being verbal doesn't mean I am automatically a great communicator, it just means I talk a lot. When we speak often our agenda is to be understood and heard, but in the midst of that we forget to make the other person feel heard and understood. ⠀
⠀
Maybe if we shifted the goal from agreement (right and wrong) to connection we would be able to find our way back to each other. I know if someone doesn't hear me, I need to learn to change the way I communicate. Staying in a place of "No one listens to me" keeps me in a place of helplessness. Approaching people from a place of curiosity rather than judgement will change the game in the way you communicate!
  • Happy Birthday to this blonde babe of a woman!!!!!!! Love and miss you so much! Take us back to sailing the whitsundays and discovering abandoned resorts! @thewritersink 💜💗✨
  • "So why would I fear the future? For I am being pursued only by your goodness and unfailing love" #psalms 
Often our minds are rehearsing tragedy, meditating on lack, and forgetting the good. What if we shifted our focus? And got caught up in a cycle of goodness instead of lack?

If fear has to do with punishment am I walking on egg shells anticipating something bad happening? Am I believing that I am worth being punished? Or do I believe that I am being pursued by love? 
It's time to get caught up in a cycle of love and goodness rather than a cycle of rejection and punishment.
  • “City of stars are you shining just for me?” - La La Land 🎶 I love LA and all the twinkle lights scattered throughout the city ✨ pic cred @nikkimataphoto
  • Perfect catch up with @jack_n_j on a beautiful sunny winters day on Sunset Blvd 💕
  • Magic day in La La Land ✨Pic cred @nikkimataphoto
  • Cutest company on a rooftop in LA ✨✨✨
  • My brother is engaged!! So happy to welcome a new sister into the family!! Love you @shellechin and @jess.hooper 💜😭💕💍👰🏻🤵🏼
  • I met the sweetest little boy today @ziondupree 👶🏽congratulations @chantelleenelson @dontanelson he will change the world 🌎
  • Hawaii Vibes ✨
  • Arrived in beautiful Hawaii 🌊🏄‍♀️🏖⛱
  • "Imagine if we found a dead body" - @edwarddavidwhite - That one time we found a deserted island and went exploring #tbt #islandlife #islandhopping #australianwinter 🐠🐟🐡🐬🦈🐳🐋🐊☀️⛵️🛶🏝🏖 @rachaelkatehooper @charlottehooper23 @rhtreharne @edwarddavidwhite @jordanroycehooper @thewritersink