When worries do not let you sleep

Sometimes it is impossible to sleep at nights full of a cluster of concerns.

Whether a specific problem oppress you or that a series of not solved issues appear in subsequent and inconsistent manner, you remain awaken as time goes on.

You are not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer this situation. Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister has fully identified this condition and decided to write a book to help victims to mitigate it: Between the Dark and the Daylight (between the darkness and the light of the day).

Joan does not write a scientific treatise nor attends theological points. She simply identifies a range of concerns that commonly to assault men or women at night; she gives us advices to work with them.


Most of the concerns identified are of all kinds: personal, family, social and, even, labor.

Journey through life forces man to face a myriad of situations of all kinds that demand him to make decisions. Many situations are new; others are ancient, but they have undergone changes; others are unreal. Postponing the decision making or living with the fear of not having chosen the best one, you are prone to be harassed by the subconscious mind in the middle of the night.

The issues considered by Sister Joan involve all domains of life: “the delusion of frustration”, “the insecurity of certainty”, “the emptiness of accumulation”, “the role of failure in success”, “the productivity of the rest and recreation”, “the loneliness of love”, etc.

Insecurity of Certainty

I liked the particular way in which she tackles the problem of the insecurity of certainty.

According to Sister Joan security is not a state of life but a state of mind. It is the necessity that you feel that you step on solid ground. It is to avoid flying for fear of losing touch with what gives you support. In economic terms, it is the eternal fear of losing the accumulated wealth that hinders you, paradoxically, from taking the maximum reward of it.

Facing this insecurity is to accept risks. It is to know that every moment brings you dangers. It is not to expect that the worst scenarios will prevail. It is simply to trust that the outcomes will be good and to be resigned if eventually they are not.

Trying to base your security on the certainty of power, status, money, or fame is vain. The only fear of losing them paralyzes you. Because you truly know that this certainty is illusory. You have you seen many powerful ones fall; many respected people, justified or unjustified, change from heroes to villains overnight; huge fortunes have vanished, solid businesses ended in bankruptcy; of ten years ago celebrities only a few remain so.

The inexorable change which affects all the dimensions of life inevitably crashes certainty. You must, for both, embrace the challenge of confronting every day circumstances, be similar or different to previous days. It is necessary to assume a creative attitude to invent your life on an ongoing basis.

The Call to Solitude

Another issue that Sister Joan deals in an excellent way is the one that has to do with overcrowding. Too many people live together. Living in big cities sometimes it is suffocating. And it is increasingly difficult to be alone; to give yourself time to be alone with you.

And some of the moments in which you could be alone are invaded by images and sounds of the media: radio, TV, Internet, social networks, etc. That is why the ghosts of the problems still to be solved are on the prowl and attack at night, when what you want is to sleep.

It is advisable to find moments of solitude, of encounter with one’s self. During that time you can see the life you lived, you are living and what you can do with your life to live.

In addition to these two themes, Sister Joan studies 30 more that are common to most people and appears frequently between the darkness and the light of day.

This book will not solve the problems of your life. This is impossible because life offers new challenges every day. Neither is an algorithm to which feed the variables of your situation and throws you a solution.

But it is a mirror in which you see reflected many aspects of your life and is an invitation to consider many practical ways to deal with them.

Note. I received this book from Blogging for Books for review.