This week I had a panic moment when I realized how tired I was. Late nights, early mornings, riding my bike everywhere and going bouldering twice left my body bone weary. I think it was Thursday morning when I woke up tired, muscles sore, headache and got scared because I knew I wouldn’t get to slow down until late into Saturday afternoon. I ended up making it through two days of work, a late night writer’s group and long morning of interpreting at a Compassion Connect Clinic only to have a different type of panic on Saturday afternoon. That was when I wanted to desperately to work on my novel or spend time with my partner but what really sounded good was numbing out to Stargate…but my body was stepping in and demanding rest. I conceded, thinking a 20 minute nap would do the trick. I woke up an hour and a half later and didn’t pull myself out of bed till half an hour after that.
After that I felt invincible.
Throughout this whole wonderful drama, I discovered something about myself. I can withstand many things, endure many pressures, patiently bear many trials and conflicts. But when I am weary, I am at my most vulnerable. More so than when I’m hungry or lonely.
I hit a wall where I start to think I’m no longer capable of managing my life. Then I take a victim stance. Then I start giving up on stuff. Then I start thinking I deserve pleasures and special treatment. Then I start looking for escapes, healthy or otherwise. I lose all creative potency when I get too tired.
This is the conflict that hit me this week. I got weary, and I got scared.
How do we live peaceful and compassionate live when weary?
I can’t say precisely how…but only that we do, or at least we can.
Humans are built to be strong. We’re meant to survive difficult things. We endure and become stronger. This is how God made us. In His image, able to house His potency, able to comprehend hope.
I need to recognize that when I’m weary, it doesn’t mean I’m going to die. It doesn’t mean I’m going to fail at everything I do and lose everything I love. I can survive weariness, but I need to rest and I need to ask for help.
The trick is to recognize the hope and recognize that most things will not kill us. The trick to peace is to recognize that we already have what we need to survive a crisis of weariness…we don’t need to abuse drugs or other substances, don’t need to lash out in fear and anger at those around us. We don’t need to give up and run away from things.
The other trick to peace, though, is to recognize when we are weary. We should recognize when we need to rest. Set a limit to what we will accomplish in one day. Give our bodies the food and rest they need. Ask for help from our brothers and sisters.
May we grow in awareness of who we are and how God has made us. May we perceive His strong presence in our lives and perceive the strength He has built into us. May we be courageous enough to endure our own weariness, knowing that it is only temporary.
And by all means, dear brothers and sisters, I urge you to take your rest! Give your self the sleep and food and water and breaks from work and nurturing people time that you need!
And may you grow in peace and compassion and in awareness of God…