Do you have a sanctuary? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? Are you thinking it doesn’t really matter if I have a sanctuary, because I don’t have time to enjoy it?
Of course I have a sanctuary, that’s in my room or escaping to the restroom for a few minutes before your children find you. Maybe you have a job that you enjoy going to and feel like that’s a place you can escape to forget the problems at home?
Why would you need a sanctuary?
I went to my first counseling appointment and it was great, more get to know you type things. I was grateful for a starting place, because I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I had figured I would go to the next appointment and we would dive right into the things I had shared the previous week. I was ready to get down to business and start knocking things out so I could get better and move on with my life - wow, I was really wrong with that thought - lol.
My counselor asked me where I go for a sanctuary. I was like, um, my home, the temple? The reality is I was thinking what does this have to do with anything, but thought well, I’ll listen and see where this goes. I just wanted to get better.
I started counseling the end of December so pretty much most days the boys were heading off to school, Rick was heading to Salt Lake for work and Brayden would head off to his service mission for part of each day. I felt that my home could easily be my sanctuary with everyone gone most each day. The temple I didn’t get to very often, but definitely found peace when I went. A place to clear my mind.
He asked me to come up with other places. A place that I could get away from the things in my home, didn’t need to be somewhere spiritual that I could have 20 - 30 minutes a day to myself. I honestly couldn’t think of anywhere, because I was so busy I didn’t have time to do something like that and honestly it didn’t sound appealing to me to spend that kind of time alone, by myself, with my own thoughts. He suggested a favorite place to get a treat and just go in and sit by myself, up the canyon, a view that I could enjoy, etc. I’m very task oriented and I wanted to know what this would check off on a list.
The assignment was each day to take 20 - 30 minutes, go somewhere quiet by myself and just think, ponder, clear my thoughts, listen to music, whatever I wanted, but it was me time. Turn off the phone and be disconnected.
The assignment was each day to take 20 - 30 minutes, go somewhere quiet by myself
I left that first appointment thinking alright I’ll give this a try, but it just doesn’t make sense and my attitude was I would do it when I could fit it into my schedule, so it definitely wouldn’t be everyday. It took me a little bit, but one Saturday I was chatting a good friend of mine who had been on my counseling journey with me I was sharing that I was feeling anxious, but that I needed to be home to take care of things that my family needed, etc. My friend really pushed on me to give it a try and see what would happen. I finally said to Rick and my boys that I was going to go for a drive and I would be back in about 30 minutes. I didn’t really have a great attitude about it and I honestly couldn’t think of anywhere except for the temple grounds. I drove up there and parked the car and looked at the temple. I decided to turn on some music and see if I could figure out how to sort out my thoughts all by myself.
It took me a bit to relax and really turn inward, but there were words to songs that really struck me, that caused me to calm down. I was at the temple grounds for maybe 20 minutes, but it was calming, it was really what I needed. I came home and went back to life feeling calmer. I wasn’t consistent with taking that time away from my home, but as time went on I found that I loved my own quiet time everyday. Sometimes I would have a conversation with Heavenly Father, other times I would make notes on my phone of thoughts I was having, reviewed things from my counseling appointments, listened to music, enjoyed nature, did voice messages on my phone for friends or those that I thought of and sometimes I just close my eyes and rest.
The other thing I found was that the baseball field was a place of sanctuary for me so often I would go to the ballpark for my sanctuary.
At first it seemed like an interesting way to start out my counseling / healing journey, but honestly it’s been an anchor and foundation for my healing process. I’m extremely grateful that I started learning this before Covid 19 shut everything down. It’s been a very difficult time, but learning to take time for myself, doesn’t have to be a lot of time, has been life changing.
Regardless of what you’re going through, I encourage each of you to take time for yourselves, find yourself a sanctuary each day. It will truly make a positive difference in your life.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity