When you’re tired of everything, from politics to religion to work to family to friends and even the mundane cycles of your own life, take a moment. Soften. Settle. Breathe. Nothing in nature blooms all year long – you do not have to engage in everything, always. Give yourself a break.
So many of us are tired, fatigued, weary of this season and all the things overlapping it. Everything seems so charged at the moment and if we touch it, we might get burned, we might shrivel, we might get cancelled, we might be humiliated, we might find ourselves in a fight we don’t have the endurance for. Breathe.
Obey the ebb and flow of this tiredness by surrendering to its reality. The writer of Deuteronomy said: “Blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey.” Which is to say the embodiment of love and grace will flow through you as you open your heart to what’s happening in you and around you. Which is to say, show up, be here in this, in truth, in love.
There is no reward for the person who pushes their thirst for rest away the longest. There is no virtue in exhausting yourself into a state of numbness. You are not a robot; you are not battery powered; you are not a productivity machine meant to be responsive and involved in everything, always.
You are a human. Soft, tender, made of organs and blood and bone. Your body is a living holy being that ebbs and flows and lives on tides of sleep and wakefulness, of nourishment and growth, of rest and play. Be alive to it all. Be alive to the way the sun dances on your skin and work fills your time and your mind bends with different information and then, finally, and right when it needs it most, taps you on the shoulder and says, now, now you rest, now you say no, now you close the door and deny the noise your comments. Now is when you close your eyes, maybe literally or proverbially or both, and think of other things, engage in activities that don’t mash your brain or twist your heart.
You are allowed to step out of it all when you know you must. And then there’s this: you do not owe anyone your hot take, your opinion, your well researched idea. You do not owe anyone your relentless presence or wisdom or explanations for things we are all unsure about, including yourself. Often, the most faithful and authentic presence and voice you can be is to take your time, allow your uncertainty room and hold the tension of the things you think are required of you by those you love and the things that your body needs from you in order to love.
Rest, my friend. Turn off the TV. Delete all the socials off your phone if you need to. Read some riotous fiction or watch a gratuitous show. Or maybe pour yourself a hot bath and allow the steam to melt the pressure from your brow and heart. You might need a few baths.
A blessing for when you’re tired of everything: No feeling is final; no space in time is fixed. You will not always be here in this, and the world will not always look like it does now. Take the time you need, take the rest, guilt-free and unashamed. Let the nudge of tiredness receive you to the blessing of sleep, of play, of taking a break, of saying no and refusing to speak on the subject. Time will come full circle and you will say yes again and you will speak again because no feeling is final and no space in time is fixed. So rest, my friend, and be delivered to your strength once more.
Words of healing and wisdom from Liz Melani, The Practice Co. This weekly series is called Hope in Practice. Here’s a mindful prompt: “Draw alongside the silence of stone until its calmness can claim you. Be excessively gentle with yourself. Stay clear of those vexed in spirit. Learn to linger around someone of ease who feels they have all the time in the world. Gradually, you will return to yourself,
having learned a new respect for your heart and the joy that dwells far within slow time.” John O’Donohue.