We all know what it feels like to be physically exhausted. Our bodies communicate our state of depletion to us. We can hardly keep our eyes open. We ache all over. We are either drenched in sweat or stress. We yearn for rest, and long only to lie down.
Being weary is different than simply being very tired. Though it often includes many of the characteristics named above, being weary is much more about the state of the soul than the body. When we are weary we lack excitement or enthusiasm, and we feel unable to enjoy anything. Life has become an endurance test we already know we will flunk. We fail to see the point or purpose, and yes, we do feel weary of the whole damn enterprise.
Weariness is the state of the soul when it is on empty. What is missing is meaning and value and hope, most of all, we sense a hovering hopelessness almost all of the time. Being on empty is about feeling abandoned by God or a Higher Power. It is the presence of grief, but what has been lost is the Self. When we are weary to the point of emptiness, we feel more like a carcass than a spiritual being.
We all have a coping capacity, which varies from individual to individual. What does not vary, is the reality that there is no underground spring which feeds this well of coping. When the well runs dry, well, another one must be dug, or we must refill it. Nurturing the soul, or refilling it, or keeping our coping capacity high, is where our culture fails us miserably. We live in a culture which crazily tells us that we can indeed do it all, and keep all twenty balls in the air, and that we never need to rest - we are machines which simply need to be plugged in, but to what?
Ours is a culture void of Sabbath. We are a society frightened of silence, stillness, solitude, and thus woefully out of touch with our souls or our God. We lack serenity as a people, and this is the result of taking no time to reflect or renew or refuel. We need to play, or re-create. We need to stop trying to do it all, in order to do or be something which truly matters. We see rest as laziness, and a schedule so packed we can hardly breathe, as a sign of being a success. Our culture may see us as successful when we function as a hopeless workaholic, but to our Higher Power, we have sacrificed our very own significance.
How might you replenish your coping supply? When do you feel the greatest satisfaction? What are you doing when you lose track of time? What gives you gooseflesh or a lump in the throat, or moves you to tears? When do you feel the fluttering breeze of happiness? When you can answer these questions, then you will know how to fill yourself up. Ironically, the key to getting spiritually full is most often rooted in DOING MUCH LESS in order TO BE MUCH MORE.
By the way, your body will warn you when the soul is running dry. We have a body of knowledge which teaches us all about how to maintain our spiritual balance, which is another way of saying to avoid letting the tank hit empty. Our body will get anxious, feel overwhelmed, experience paralyzing anxiety, and sense being stuck. Our bodies will function like live volcanos, erupting often, and blowing off hot air in adult tantrums. We will complain we just don’t feel like ourselves, or are getting sick again, or want to run away and hide. Tears and angry outbursts and swarming sadness are the warning signs of a soul nearing depletion.
God will help us heal the hurting soul, but will only meet us half way. Like a good therapist, our Higher Powers expects our investment and involvement and interest. We must be on board in the effort to fill up the soul.
Remember, God is a God of Grace, and that all of Life is Grace. God has no problem asking us, even encouraging us, to INDULGE ourselves in fun and joy and rest and relaxation and doing absolutely nothing. God wishes only for us to enjoy the day, to receive the present as a present. God calls upon us to heal our souls by claiming we are a child of God, already worthy of being cherished and adored.
In an obscenely obsessive compulsive materialistic society, hell-bent on seeing us run ragged trying to make a name for ourselves, our Higher Powers point out that we are already named and claimed by a gracious God, and that we are at our most powerful when admitting we are never in control.
We heal ourselves of weariness and emptiness when we live the Sabbath principle, and take time strictly to be with our soul and our God. A whole day--when was the last time you took a whole day to be intimate with your spirit and Spirit? When you heal the soul by filling it, you will once again enjoy your days, and become excited and energized, and lo and behold, ready and able to make someone else’s day!
A good God may have dug the first well for us, but we are entrusted with keeping it in good shape. Our souls must be nourished and refreshed. Our souls must be taken care of by individuals wise enough to know they cannot be perfect, are not meant to keep everyone happy, and are entitled to take time to SIMPLY AND SOLELY RECEIVE.
The firm foundation of spiritual nurturance is the acceptance of being a human being. Nothing more or less, but wonderfully made. It is God’s will for humans to be human, and when we hit empty, it is from trying to be anything or everything but human. Playing God is a weary business.