Monday, December 08, 2008

Shut Down

Have you ever shut down part of your life? Turned it off, like a switch? Shut the door to certain emotional rooms? Did you do it with swift intention with a loud slam or did you move slowly like a teenager who carefully closes the door as he slips out after curfew? Perhaps it was a necessity: to shut off a room to conserve energy for other, more productive, spaces in your life.

On occasion, you look longingly at the cold, quiet room. It used to be such an immense source of joy, a center of activity; now cold, dark and inaccessible.

Yet perhaps, as King Solomon mused, there is a time for every purpose under heaven. Is there a time to shut down? All systems go out of control. Instruments need to be tuned, electronic measures calibrated, vehicles maintained, bodies renewed.

When my husband worked at a large gas plant, they called their major maintenance time “turnaround” or “shutdown.” It involved a weeklong stoppage of most systems for repair, replacement or refitting. Maintenance crews operated around the clock to upgrade and renew systems. This practice is common in the industry and helps to maintain a higher standard of safety and quality.

Occasionally our bodies require some overhaul. Most of us see our doctor, dentist and optometrist for our annual check up. Some do a “cleanse” to remove toxins and help the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Surgery removes disease, repairs injuries or promotes healing. Even nature sets this pattern in the four seasons. Winter is her “shutdown.”

How does our emotional side get restoration? We are multi-dimensional beings that need to live fully in spirit, soul, mind and body. How do we ensure the emotional shutdown is a time-limited renewal rather than an amputation? Is it even possible to shut down a part without causing its death or decay?

Since I first posted the above questions on December 4, I've come across an interesting blog post from author Nancy Rue which may start answering some of these questions. Read it here.


  1. Hmmm you raise many interesting questions to which I don't know the answers. Tell me what you learn...

  2. Yes, I'm mulling on these and hope to bring some closure to it for myself... perhaps this will surface in a future post.