Why Am I So Tired?
The above statement probably has resonated with all of us at one time or another (maybe even now!) We try to get some semblance of required sleep, and we are in reasonably good health, then why are we so exhausted? Life in our culture can bombard us with stress from every angle, and, with the pandemic, there are added layers of pressure.
- Are my kids adapting to virtual classes? Hybrid schooling?
- Is my job secure?
- Am I taking enough precautions to ward off this virus?
- I’m missing social events, sports games, visiting friends. (FOMO – fear of missing out)
- Will life ever return to normal?
- Because work is virtual, I am always “plugged in.”
These are only a few added stresses to our already burdensome life. Trying to juggle all of this can be totally exhausting.
In her book Invitation to Retreat, Ruth Haley Barton shares some subtle sources of exhaustion.
We are functioning out of an inordinate sense of “ought” and “should.”
We all want to be known for being dependable and reliable, but are we living with unrealistic expectations. Let’s face it; some of us live lives that are fueled by guilt. We shove these feels down because we see everyone else seemingly “making it,” so we stick our chin in our chest and try to keep up appearances.
A wise spiritual person always listens and pays attention to the subtle distinction between “ought” and “should” and the authentic desires God has placed within them.
We find it difficult to ask for help.
As Christians, serving others is in our DNA. When we serve others, we take the lead in the situation, which assures us an amount of control. When others serve us, we are at the mercy of the one giving service. Submitting is uncomfortably countercultural to us.
Allowing others to serve us helps them flex their ministry muscles and allow them to fulfill their call as servants of God.
We may have few, or no, boundaries on our service and availability to others.
We cannot be all things to all people. If we try to do this, we are trying to fulfill a role that was only made for Jesus!
We may be carrying unhealed woundedness.
If we try to manage all that is unresolved within us, we are in danger of draining ourselves of all our life’s energy.
We may be stuck in our own willfulness.
Willfulness = our attempts to impose our ideas on others, establish our agenda, and control everything around us. Suppose we can exchange our willfulness for willingness. In that case, it is amazing how rejuvenated we can become, not to mention all the Lord can do when we yield to him.
Are we living as a performer than the person God created us to be?
It is very easy to get disconnected from our true selves when we try to live up to others’ expectations. It takes more energy to perform than to be the person God created us to be.
What is the answer to these attitudes and mindsets that can drain the vitality out of us? Retreat! This is not a vacation or running away and hiding from your problems, but “coming home to ourselves in God’s presence and resting there. God is waiting for us, continuing to hold out to us the invitation to rest. The only question is, will we say yes, or will we keep running the other way?” (RHB, pg. 38)
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:15 & 18
written by Major Lauren Hodgson, Spiritual Life Development, USA East