Exhaustion can creep into our lives in so many forms. Today I’m physically exhausted — I feel The Universe tap on my shoulder to inform me I need to rest and so — I rest. Fourteen hours of sleep later, medication kicking in, breathing all the way down to the base of my lungs…I feel a bit better. But I have done this dance often enough to be cautious with my limited energy supply, lest my tank run completely dry.
Emotional exhaustion hits us too. Compassion fatigue — a fancy name for burn out — is common in my profession. However, with the way the world works today, every one is exposed to atrocities too numerous and horrible to absorb. Wars, genocide, natural disasters, mass shootings…are not met with compassion, but an “Oh no — here we go again!” mentality. We are saturated in sorrow. Literally. We can not phathom that amount of pain.
Spiritual exhaustion follows. Where is The Divine in all of this? People of faith — spiritual leaders — are not immune to temptation and deceit. It hits home particularly hard when a person of supposed spiritual enlightenment is shown to have feet of clay. And that happens across all religious practices. No one is immune in their humanity to being human.
Exhaustion. Double — tripled down. What do we do about it?
We rest. We listen. We are kind to ourselves. We are kind to each other. We stay away from the anger button. We acknowledge the fact we have no answers to the big questions. Not here. Not now. We take the love we have and we pour it over our wounds and the wounds of those we can reach. We refuel and then we light our candles.
The Chinese have a proverb — “It is better to light one candle, than curse the darkness”.
Shelter your light from the storms. Refuel as needed. But by all means — Be That Candle.