Friday, July 8, 2016
Being Depleated and Needing a Break
It is said that in a person's life they go through many seasons. In any given day, week, month, or year a person slides from one season to the next. In away, we all have our Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Granted, sometimes it falls into the same order as the Earth's seasons, but usually, it goes with whatever rhythm and path of the person.
There are times when we are flying high, nothing can bring us down and there are times when we have exhausted our entire being, leaving us completely depleted. It is something that everyone goes through and everyone feels. We all handle it a little differently, but there are times we handle it in the same way as someone else.
Mothers (I can only speak for moms, but I am sure dads feel the same way sometimes), I truly believe, end up being depleted much more quickly and for longer periods of time. They are the glue that holds many families together. They give to their husbands, their child(ren), their friends, their to do lists, to their extended family. They give so much, that sometimes at the end of the day, they have nothing left to give to themselves.
This leads to exhaustion. Now, I am not talking the sleep deprived state of having a newborn and then leading into a kid who doesn't sleep well at night. I am talking about every square inch is exhausted. The body, the heart, the mind.
Sure, we can do stuff that fills us back up. But the length of time in which we are filled completely gets shorter and shorter. Maybe it only takes a cup of coffee to fill us, five minutes here or ten minutes there. And maybe not even every day. But then that five minutes or ten minutes turns into longer stretches needed, and needed every day. Sometimes that five minute break only ties us over for the next hour or maybe we can stretch until the kids go down for nap or bedtime. But at what point do we hit our breaking point, The point at which no matter what we do, we are never filled back up. Never restored.
How can we pour into those we love, when our own cup is empty. At some point we break. We need a break. Not necissarily a vacation. But a break. This is easier said than done. Why? Because even when we do get a break, we are still hyper foucsed on the needs of our families and our to do lists. We feel guilty for needing the time to ourselves to do what fills us back up, to restore our hearts, minds, and body.
I can relate to this, as many others I am sure can. I have two kids, whom I love and adore. Who bring so much joy and laughter into my life. Who I can't imagine my life without them. Who I would do anything for, even if it means giving them all of me all the time. I have a husband, who is an amazing father, has to go to work so I can stay home to raise our kids, and he would do anything for his kids and for me.
I am in a season now of complete exhaustion. My emotions are strong, I hyper focus on the mistakes I make, I worry all to often if I am making the right decision, I feel a lot of guilt especially when it comes to how to balance two kids, two different schedules, two different needs, and a whole lot of emotions, I am my own worst enemy and can dwell on the negative side of the events of the day. I find myself counting down the minutes until the next nap time or until everyone is in bed. Only to fall into the couch tired and ready for bed myself. But then when I go to bed, I can't fall asleep right away because my mind starts reeling or I have a toss and turn kind of night all night. My body may be in bed, but my mind is still racing and even my dreams are so vivid that if I do sleep, there are parts of me still tired the next day.
How does one came back from this? How does one restore their heart, mind, and body? It takes time. But even before one can begin, we have to recognize where we are. It is only once we hit that breaking point, sometimes the lowest of lows, that can finally then pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild and restore. First, we the foundation. We need a strong foundation, because without one, the pieces will crumble again, but more quickly. Only once we have that solid foundation, that solid footing, can we take the next step. What is the next step? Only you can answer that for yourself. It is a step that can help being to fill you, by only doing what you fills you.
Yes, perspective and attitude can go a long way. But when we aren't ready for it, it means nothing. Sometimes we need to let it all fall down, break, and then rebuild. We need to free ourselves from the guilt, worry, fear, whatever may be holding us back. Instead we need to hope again, trust, believe, and have courage. When it comes down to it, we aren't alone. Sometimes we only need to open up, even if only a small amount, to get things started. Today, I am choosing to open up. It may be only a crack, but eventually, the doors will open all the way. Today, I choose to start to restore my heart, mind, and body.
How am I going to do that? I am not yet totally sure, but I know things need to change. Not just for my sake, but for all those in my life. I need to restore the me that I know I can be, the me that I am supposed to be, so that I can be the mom, spouse, friend that God made me to be.
What season are you in?