Soul searching has its benefits. If you slow down long enough to just be with yourself, sift through your thoughts, and get reacquainted with the real you, you’ll make some progress toward clarity. I’m not talking about “self care” either – bubble baths, getting your nails done, and whatnot. I’m talking deep soul searching, solitude, thinking, time to regroup. Taking this kind of time for yourself is critical, especially when…
- You’re just not feeling it anymore. Your days have been hard, and you find you’ve hardened, too. We tend to refer to this as “burn out”, but it’s more than that. “Burn out”, in my never-so-humble-opinion, suggests you’re tired of doing what you’re doing. You might need a break, a little rest, a change of scenery, a pep talk. “Just not feeling it anymore” needs its own word that I haven’t come up with yet, but this idea suggests you’ve all but checked out. You are ready to withdraw, screw it all, quit. You’re done.
- Your emotions are overwhelming you. Emotionally, you’re a wreck. You can’t fight back the tears, your fuse is short, and it’s near to impossible to have a good attitude about anything. None of us are able to fake it forever. When we’re busy, we suck it up and keep going. When we’re tired, we push through and make life happen. Overwhelming emotions can’t be sucked up or pushed through, and they won’t right themselves magically on their own.
- You are physically not well. Snotty nose? Urinary tract infection? Always exhausted? Haven’t pooped in two days? You chalk all this up to little health annoyances. You probably picked up a bug somewhere. You drank too much soda. Of course, you’re exhausted. You haven’t been eating right. All that is probably true, but no kidding, our bodies manifest stress and emotion. You are physically ailing not only because your health habits are poor, but also because your body is breaking down under the weight of your lifestyle.
- You just want to hermit. The world is horribly people-y, social media is full of idiocy, and road rage is real. You’d rather be at home. You don’t care to fool with getting all fixed up to go hobnob. You’ll just sit by yourself and eat cheese. This flaming introvert gets it. (I sometimes think of the title of that 1999 James Bond film, The World is Not Enough. No, Dude. It’s often too much, and I’m over it.)
- Nothing gets your best. You’re going around touching all the things, giving a little of yourself, your attention, your heart to each. You make having seventy-hundred thirteen thousand responsibilities look good, but you know deep down you’re giving each one of them a half-assed effort. Then yet another person asks you for something else, makes you responsible for their happiness, wants you to adjust to make their life work. And they tell you how great you are. Pssshht.
Y’all, listen to me. Take the time. Soul search. But, “Girl,” you say…”when? How?”. You’ve got those seventy-hundred thirteen thousand responsibilities, right? Hear me when I tell you that they can wait. Nobody will croak because you didn’t answer their email. Nobody will run screaming off into the night because you didn’t help them meet THEIR need. And besides…what if they did? Big deal! Tell ’em to take off. YOU might run screaming off into the night if you DON’T get a handle on your little, baby soul and let it rest. Hear that.
Next, let’s talk about the “how” part of all this in depth. I got you. Catch Part 2 next.