A thirty-something woman confided that she’s perpetually exhausted—stressful career, young children, constant hamster wheel. It’s tough to manage “Super Mom,” “Stellar Business Person,” and “Amazing Homemaker” at the same time! Of course, she’s tired. Something’s gotta give.
I often forget to practice conscious breathing instead, endeavoring to physically and mentally “do everything.” I actually catch myself holding my breath sometimes! Talk about going so fast that “crashing” is inevitable!
Exhaustion can be physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional, and sometimes, disappointment, anxiety, worry, and disrespect, are the most debilitating.
Letdowns—like losing that dream job, feeling alone in this big world, failing to succeed at your most recent diet, being unheard or invisible—may make you believe you’re a failure or unworthy. Often, though, it’s not you. Perhaps you thought the project you labored over would give you a business edge, or you’d simply smile at someone, and they’d want to be your friend, or you’d lose those twenty pounds, or your partner would honor you. Assuming an outcome—sometimes without knowing how to attain it, or when it’s contingent on another person—sometimes just doesn’t work out. Sometimes we will fail.
Significant challenges—coronavirus, war, abuse, prejudice—are elements in our reality, and we often feel assaulted. And, we live in a time where everything seems to go so fast. When over-scheduled hours fly by, you may think, “what happened to the last six months?” When there’s too much on your proverbial plate, derailment begins, then anxiety takes hold. And, distress—worrying about wars, finances, an ailing family member, or even what to wear (clearly, some of these are a lot more critical than others)—creates angst. Planning ahead and not over-committing are two of the keys to becoming less anxious. (Yep, I know, easier said than done.)
For some of us, not being troubled seems wrong! We’ve become a nation of worriers, imagining “worst-case scenarios,” concerned that we may have made bad choices, doubting our decision-making abilities, filled with misgivings and uncertainty even though most of us know (intellectually and spiritually) that worry doesn’t make things better—it simply mucks up anything good about the day. Of course, there are significant reasons to be troubled. When you get caught up in the vicious cycle of anxiety ask, “Will this truly matter in two weeks, two years, twenty-two years?”
Disregard is painful, especially from those we most desire love, support, and understanding from. When someone’s actions, or silence, screams, “you don’t deserve my respect,” it’s heartbreaking. If you’re in a relationship with someone who blatantly models “you don’t matter,” it may be time to make changes. And, if you’re trying to be everything to everyone except yourself, you’re not only going to get burned out, you’re not honoring your innate value. Ultimately, you’ll end up feeling defeated, exhausted, and possibly believing, “I can’t get anything right.”
How do you want to spend your precious time?
What are your true priorities?
When do you feel most valued?
To move from exhausted to peaceful:
1. acknowledge, honestly, what’s most important to you (beings, wealth, possessions, beauty, etc.)
2. list them in order of priority
3. decide how to put what’s really meaningful first
4. recognize what you’re currently doing that’s not of value to you
5. make purposeful changes to rearrange your life to honor what matters
Practice empowering yourself and filling your mind—and heart and spirit—with hope, appreciation, and a yearning for truth. Decide to be present in each precious, fragile moment.
You are worth it.
This I know,