Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Where Mercy Starts

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Stress, Daily Spirituality,

Sleeping PhotoWhen faced with problems, I tend to sleep in. My finger is drawn to the snooze button on my alarm clock, and sometimes that urge will not be denied. When stress and consciousness wake up together, I often let my mind rock back and forth between the sounds of morning radio and the warm blanket of sleep. I tell myself it’s a way to ease into the day, but it’s really just a way to stall it for another nine, 18, 27 minutes.

Others avoid their problems in different ways. Writing for the art and faith magazine Ruminate (article not available online), Christine Jeske writes about her addiction to the shower as a way to delay the inevitable stresses of the day. It’s not an addiction to hard drugs or booze, but it’s an addiction nonetheless. Jeske writes about the “Happy-Place” where her brain floats after 30 minutes of bathing—a half hour without her job, her husband, her children, her problems. She understands her responsibility to her children, to the environment, and eventually tries to take control of her day and her shower time. “Today I have the strength to get out,” she writes. “That’s where mercy starts for me.”

Image by Mayr, licensed under Creative Commons.