• Michelle Wells

Sleep

Sleep.  Every new parent knows that sleep is sacred.  Those first few nights home with that baby when you just want them to sleep.  You find yourself praying for 20 minutes of sleep and then throwing a mini dance party when your baby sleeps for two hours straight.  Without sleep people have a slow reaction time, a short emotional fuse, inattentiveness, and can eat entire packages of oreos without even a second thought.  I’ve been thinking a lot about sleep.  The physiological reasons our bodies need rest, the number of hours that are required to feel fully recharged, and the consequences of not getting enough of it.  According to dictionary.com sleep is described as “to be careless or unalert; allow one’s alertness, vigilance, or attentiveness to lie dormant.”  Sleep isn’t as much about the physiological equation of required unconsciousness, as it’s about vulnerability.  Sleep is the ultimate feeling of worry free carelessness.  When you are asleep you can be caught off guard and taken by surprise. Sleep makes you vulnerable.  I’ve spent years building up a fortress of emotional walls to protect myself from vulnerability.  Years of surrounding myself with a constant emotional warrior stance, preparing for the next crisis. This weekend I slept really well.  Really well, as in when I woke up I wasn’t completely sure that rapture hadn’t occurred and I momentarily thought I had been left behind.  The kind of sleep where you are trying to figure out when you went to bed, you have no idea where your children are, you are asking yourself if it’s possible that the past twenty years were actually a dream kind of sleep.  I slept.  Vulnerable, worry free, careless sleep.  Last night, I was back to my usual warrior stance, on guard, emotional fortress, wishing I had a bag of oreos night of sleep, and today I’m exhausted.  I’m not exhausted from lack of physical sleep, but from lack of emotionally vulnerability.  As I’m moving throughout my day today, I’m holding onto the hope that more moments of worry free careless sleep are coming my way.  I’m holding onto the hope of safe emotional vulnerability.  I’m holding onto the hope of intoxicating deep restful sleep.  I’m also holding onto a bag of oreos just in case.

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