I have come to think that burn out has different stages and scenery. It’s like watching a prairie fire over time–eventually, it burns itself out. You’re left in a quiet, peaceful, albeit grey area of ashes and soot. This is the layer that brings back life, if you let it.
I’ve experienced or come close to burn out a few times. In my personal work life, it’s been happening steadily over the past few years with some small breaks in the firewall, here and there. I’ve been told invalidating things such as “You’re too young to be so tired” or “That’s just the way life is, so get used to it.” Neither ideas I accept.
I’ve been feeling more at peace about making some changes in my life, and not trying to scuttle after things not worth my time or energy anymore. I’ve begun stepping down from responsibilities and doing what I can for self-care. I’ve been trying to become better at calling out the emperor wearing no clothes, and watching the followers continue the parade around him. It’s baffling to me how many people work so hard to preserve the status quo–“That’s just the way things have always been and we like it that way.” And they raise up their batons and follow the emperor, blind leading the blind.
One thing: I am beginning to feel God’s presence in all this. It took awhile. That still, quiet voice, right? One of my favorite sentences in the Bible. I believe we have angels fighting for us everyday, angel warriors with armor and weapons saying “Not this one; not this child.” God is with us in the evil, in the toil, in the death and smoke. Even when bad things happen to us, or we can’t quite see through the smoke yet.
Have you or are you going through burn out? What was it like for you?
Here’s some music that’s helped me. May it bring you some peace. Keep on writing! ✏️