Resistance Says, “You Don’t Deserve Rest”

I have written about rest before, but it’s on my mind again lately, especially in the wake of what has been going on in the world and particularly in America. I don’t need to list all of the insane injustices that we’re dealing with. You know what I’m talking about.

The reason it’s on my mind is that I’ve been feeling a frantic energy of pressure to always-be-doing—and that doing can be any range of activities from arguing, fighting, and protesting, to calling elected officials, donating, posting opinions about the latest issue, and sharing other’s opinions about the latest issue.

But, hear me when I say, if you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, angry, drained, or any other version of depleted and fatigued because of what’s been going on in the world: 


You cannot be fighting all of the time. You need to rest and nurture yourself. In my world, that looks like taking breaks from the news, from the many screens required to do my work, and also, and perhaps more importantly, protecting time for my writing.

I was in Austin, Texas on the day that Roe v. Wade was overturned. I took some flack for “being on vacation” in the capital of a red state, just dropping by without experiencing the consequences of living there.


If you expect to have the energy and stamina you need to fight whatever fight you set out for, you must rest and restore yourself. Otherwise you will burn out and you won’t be able to fight at all.

No one has control over what the Supreme Court will or will not do, and we certainly don’t have control over when they will do it or where we will be when it happens. This is why I have given myself permission to rest when I need to rest and to focus on the work that I have set out to do in the world.

Not everyone is an activist. Not everyone can be or should be one. And even if you’re not explicitly an activist doing work directly connected to social or political issues, hear me again when I say YOUR WORK STILL MATTERS. Your work is JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ACTIVISM.

I was not on vacation in Texas. I was giving a workshop at a writer’s conference. Even if I was on vacation, I deserve to vacation whenever and wherever I want—and so do you!

But, I wasn’t on vacation. I was working, and my work matters. It matters more than ever, because I am supporting women telling their true stories and stories change lives and, maybe more importantly, stories change minds.

Not only am I supporting women telling their true stories, but I am also working on my own true story and my story will also change lives. It will change lives because I am writing about being raised as an Evangelical Christian—the very culture that is the root of a lot of what’s happening in America today—and my journey to understanding just how harmful that culture is, for women especially.

My story is a journey from JUDGMENT to LOVE, which is why choosing love is a core value for me. And I’m talking about true love, not the so-called, follow-these-rules, conditional love demonstrated by Evangelicals. It is a story that matters now more than ever, and writing the manuscript has been hard, painful work. It is anything BUT a vacation.

Yes, I’m fired up. Yes, I’m feeling a little defensive. But I’m not feeling defensive for myself. I’m feeling defensive for YOU, because if I’m facing this kind of resistance—the kind that tells me I don’t deserve to rest or focus on my work—then I know you’re facing it too.


This resistance tells you that you must earn rest or time for your creative work. It tells you that you must demonstrate your need for rest. It tells you that rest and spending time on your creativity is a guilty pleasure.


It is essential. It is necessary. It makes us stronger.

Caring for yourself and your creativity is the only way you will be able to show up fully in the world—and no one else can tell you what that looks like for you. Sure, someone like me can make suggestions and offer ideas of things that have worked for them, which I’m doing all the time in these emails and with my clients. But those will only ever be suggestions and ideas until you try things for yourself, experiment, and figure out what works best FOR YOU.

So take that rest. Take that time to work on your book {or creative practice}. And don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s not worth it or you don’t deserve it or it’s not important or that there are better things to be doing with your time.

It’s only resistance that says you don’t deserve to rest. It’s only resistance that says you don’t deserve time to write.

Leave a Comment

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