Beauty Heals – Three Simple Practices
Daily our world is moving at a frantic pace. We are exposed to a deluge of distractions along with all of the world’s traumatic events! After watching the 2020 movie, The Social Dilemma, I realize I am not made to live at the speed of the Smartphone. In fact it is a hazard to mental health and is a source that feeds exhaustion! The constant social media short-term build-ups leave you with a dopamine high and an empty soul. Validation from these social media platforms conflates truth creating a “fake brittle popularity” especially for teens. We were never created to care so much about what others think about us. The constant need to turn to social media for relief of stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness creates a feedback loop which only increases these symptoms.
In the midst of all the turmoil and need, God is offering us a reprieve, a way to add refreshment to our souls.
In John Eldredge’s new book, Get Your Life Back he offers simple practices to help you unplug from technology and adopt kindness towards yourself and others. I loved these ideas so much that I decided to share them with you.
1. Take simple one-minute pauses throughout your day.
Give yourself permission between checking all the boxes of your day to pause and breathe. Simply make room for God in your life throughout the day. Stop and give everything to Jesus. Then ask Jesus to fill you and restore you. Psalm 131:2 says, “I have calmed and quieted myself.” Learn to quiet your heart without a cell phone, the internet, or a trip to Starbucks. This can be a time of prayer, silence, or a moment to enjoy the beauty before you.
2. Practice “benevolent detachment” by releasing your past concerns, your present worries, and future fears to God. Letting Him take care of them.
Eldredge uses the analogy of a junk drawer that everyone has in their life filled with keys, pens, paperclips etc. Our souls can also accumulate things that clutter our vision and our minds. Jesus invites us to live by turning everything over to him. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT).
Jesus wants to show us how to rest and recover our lives by turning things over to him. (1 Peter 5:7) There are hundreds of things that can burden our souls. Casting all our anxieties on Him takes practice. “I give my marriage to you”, “I give my presentation tomorrow to you”, “I give my need for friendships to you”. He wants to fill those places of need as you give him your burdens.
3. Take time to drink in the beauty of nature.
God gave us an infinite supply of beauty to nourish and help heal our souls. “Beauty comforts. Beauty heals.” Eldridge lets us know that beauty will heal you, revive you, rescue you, and restore you. Beauty lets us know that God is absolutely good and lacks no abundance. In the book of Revelation, chapter 22, God gives us hope and lets us know that the end of the story is also wonderful and full of beauty. “Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”
You do not need to go far to experience beauty. He has been generous and filled the earth with His beauty. Pause and let the beauty around you minister to you.
These three simple practices can help you to begin to restore your life and bring refreshment to those areas that seem desolate. By beginning to use these simple practices you can start to unplug and restore your soul in the here and now.
“May the Son of God, who is already formed in you, grow in you, so that for you he will become immeasurable, and that in you he will become laughter, exaltation, the fullness of joy which no one can take from you.” Isaac of Stella