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Exhaustion: It's Not What You Think

Is anyone else exhausted?

I know I am, and I'm seeing this in everyone in my world--friends, family, clients. Exhaustion is not "tired." Exhaustion, in the framework I'm using, is depletion, drain, fatigue that is not necessarily from lack of sleep or having too much fun. So why is this coming up for many of us?

One of the biggest overarching themes that I help my clients with is connection with Self. This concept is not something most of us are taught. In fact, we are usually taught to connect with others instead of Self, to over give, to value others over Self. Even if that is not explicit, the implicit messaging privileges others above ourselves. We then tend to feel valuable when we focus on others--we call it unselfish, we say we are good humans, we spin the narrative. When we are overly involved in other people's emotions, stories, and paths, we are neglecting Self. When we process their unresolved feelings and energies, we are depleting Self. And when we take care of others instead of Self, we are abusing Self.

The self-abuse shows up as exhaustion, overwhelm, and shut down. We tell ourselves that others need us, they can't do it without us, we are invaluable to their process.
But is this even true? It is possible to be compassionate, kind, and loving without exhausting the Self in the process, and it begins with looking at the stories we tell ourselves around over involvement in other people's energies.
  • Is this person even asking for our help?

  • Or are we inserting ourselves because WE believe we can fix them?

We actually can't, and believe me, I've tried. Many many times. It doesn't work. Anytime we process energies for others--their sadness, anger, upset, etc. we are interfering with their opportunities to learn their own lessons with what they've come here to do in this lifetime. We aren't actually helping them. We are, instead, creating an ILLUSION of safety, stability, and love for Self. We feel better, even though it's not real. The lack of connection with Self that so many of us struggle with usually manifests in looking outside of Self to others and all things external to give us what we think we need. It may work sometimes, but really only temporarily, since our true Self is damn smart and knows what is authentic. This looking outside of Self for anything IS an exhaustion creator. It's an override of what we know is true, therefore it requires a ton of effort. That efforting is depleting. It's one sided. And it is exactly here--where we are efforting and over giving and not receiving that the exhaustion builds. Eventually, the physical body takes a hit. So, what does it take to acknowledge these kinds of patterns and shift them?

Ask yourself: Where in your life are you doing this? What is the exhaustion keeping in place for you? What would happen if you pulled your energies back from others to Self? What would happen to others if they were allowed to process their own feelings and energies? Now, your inner child will probably throw a bit of a fit, because she's felt obligated to function in this paradigm for a long time, but so much of true connection with Self is allowing your inner child to be a child--to contribute joy, play, lightness to all aspects of your life. With some healing work, the inner child can come back into balance and harmony, and stop managing others.

The deeper exhaustion and fatigue are symptoms of a bigger pattern of dysfunction that we have bought into as true. It's not. What is true for us is joy. And that access to joy starts with access to Self.

Please contact me if you need support on your journey to Self. It can be hard to break the chains of habit and of our society that says we need to serve to the total expense of our mental, physical and emotional well being.

It is okay to shine like the glow of the stars at night. Self Care doesn't always have to mean that you are bright as the sunshine so that everyone wants to bask in your rays. Sometimes it is all about taking refuge in the night, all by yourself and allowing yourself to begin to glow again.

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