Sunday, March 2, 2014

Shut Down Before You Shut Down

It's fine when you can run and run and go and go without even thinking about it...but one thing about the body, the heart, the soul of you, when it gets tired, it's going to get the rest it needs one way or the other, with or without your willing participation. Running the streets ain't cute. It's setting you up for a shut-down. Between work, household, family, church, and everything in between, your life can feel so full. But then one day out of the blue, full begins to feel empty. Adrenaline can switch over to exhaustion and fatigue. If what you've done up until that point had nothing much to do with true purpose, you will need some help navigating through what you will experience at that time or you will find yourself battling a different level of depression than you ever imagined. 
I don't care if it's ministry, motherhood, marriage, entrepreneurship or whatever, the most precious commodity in all of it, the most important person, the most valuable asset, is YOU.

There will come a day when your body will send a simple message to you, "Either you lay down, or I'll shut down". That message will ring so loudly and so clearly that you may wonder if someone else hears it. Most people won't notice and even when you make the decision to shut some things down yourself, it will look to others more like a breakdown than a shut down. But if you don't shut down, a breakdown in inevitable. Your gifts won't matter, Money won't matter. As much as you need one, a job won't matter. What people are expecting of you won't matter. All that will matter to you is avoiding what you feel in your soul and body about to happen, that is scaring the crap out of you, not to mention you don't feel you have to tools or ability to stop, change or fix it, but you know you have to do it.

Maybe personality types play a major role in what I'm talking about. They probably do. So for some, these words mean nothing, but for others it can mean saving you a lot of difficulty as you go through the next few seasons, or this season you're in now.

If you are one who knows how to stop everything and take care of YOU, I beg you, don't ever stop. If you are one who has never really done this but have always found yourself trying to please, appease, or live up to others' expectations, this will be a challenge for you. As much as you need it, it won't come easy, but it is absolutely necessary for you to learn. It will be like finally, in the middle of your life, (which is probably more like the last third or quarter of your life depending on when you die, and none of us knows that day) coming into your own.

There are some things that you will have to overcome when you try to get back to yourself.  There is a guilt that emerges at the very thought of you saying, "I'm not going to be able to do that", or "I don't want to do that", or "I've changed my mind about that".  You literally feel like you're committing a sin or treating someone unfairly when you think in the direction of putting yourself first. People have come to depend on your predictability. Yours is one of the faces that they can count on seeing. They may be clueless to the fact that you yearn for so much more than just being there for them or others. But then again, it's your job, not theirs for you to fulfill the true desires of your heart and God's heart for you. It's not their job, but yours to stop breaking promises to yourself about the things you are going to do by this time next year, or next week, or next month or for your next birthday. It's your job to shut it down, before it shuts you down. If you shut it down, you may or may not ruffle a few feathers but if you wait too late, not only will your body begin to shut down, but you will find yourself being shut down, or shut out by others, because you're no good to anybody, like this.

So please, stop everything. Do absolutely nothing or do something that you want to do just for you. If you can't afford a mani/pedi, take an extra long soak in the tub, or soak your feet in a small tub of hot water. Play some relaxing music, or play some of your old favorites and dance like you used to, or like you do now. :-) Find some real fulfillment in doing what your soul is begging you to do, write, paint, draw, sing, pull out the business idea and start working on it again. Many of us are exhausted not from working, but from being drained from working on everything except purpose. This is where you get to be completely selfish, and it's completely okay. Find your life. Find yourself again. You haven't gone anywhere. You're still in there. That cry in your heart, is you crying out, to be allowed to come out. The pain you feel in your soul is birth pains. You are trying to give birth to the real you. Do what you have to do to get you out. 

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