Pause… by Marygrace Lomboy
I recently visited friends in Florida and went for a walk on the beach before sunrise. As the sun was appearing, I came across an assembly of over 100 people. They were a very large support group for those recovering from addictions to drugs and alcohol. The leader saw me walking, was very friendly and we chatted for a bit. Then she actually invited me to sit in on the meeting. I was taken back by her willingness to allow me to join them on this beautiful morning, and was humbled by her invitation. Each meeting starts out with a theme and today’s theme was about “pause”. Many of the participants gave their stories about getting cut off while driving, confrontations with coworkers, former days of getting provoked and fighting, etc…and now how they have incorporated hitting the “pause” button in their lives. One person spoke about a recent time when he was enjoying a quiet afternoon paddle boarding in the ocean when 2 kids on jet skies purposely turned around to spray him with water. His initial reaction was to go after them and “knock some sense in to them”, but instead, he paused. He took in some deep breaths and then let it pass. By hitting our pause button, it allows us to take a breath before we react. The definition of the word pause is “a temporary stop in action or speech”. It is incredible how valuable that temporary stop in action or speech may be…
A pause allows us to be more present, more aware and to think a bit clearer in a sometimes cloudy and adrenaline filled moment. There could be great danger involved in situations of intense anger and rage without a pause. A five second pause allows us to slow down our thoughts and reactions, which could make a huge difference in hurting someone we care about and avoiding additional confrontation and aggression. A well timed pause will also get others to notice and will slow down the pace and will avoid impulsive reactions on both parties.
It was inspiring to hear the stories of recovery, and how each day decisions are made to lead fuller, more present lives with much hope for the future. The meeting was ended with all of the participants forming a large circle on the beach holding hands and together praying the “Our Father”. It was so unexpected and so moving… Their faith in God and support for each other was as beautiful as the sunrise was that morning. So much of what they discussed can be applied to our own lives in our everyday struggles and difficulties we encounter.
We must learn to pause, because with pause, comes peace.