I'll give you an example.
Have you ever found yourself in a season where you felt like you just couldn't possibly handle another social engagement or even just one social engagement on top of your already jam-packed feeling life? You start to avoid friend's and family member's phone calls, even your very best of friend's, because you feel like you just don't have the energy to do anything that would require you to be "on" past the time you feel like you get to "check out" and "turn off" at the end of the work day?
There are obviously a lot of things contributing to this scenario. Your day is full. Your schedule is stressful. Life is stressful. It is what is it.
The confusion comes in when you find yourself perplexed by the fact that you're avoiding the people and sometimes the activities that you know you love. You know it's the fear that those things will only further exhaust you though that propels you to continue to protect yourself from any "grenades" that could potentially blow you away in your already fragile state.
This is me at least. Anybody else feeling me on this?
Then I find myself in the situation where, not only do I feel exhausted (that's why I felt the need to retreat, hunker down and hermit behind my barbed wire social fence) but now I'm also dealing with a serious side of guilt because I'm neglecting relationships that are precious to me and I certainly don't want to loose. Its just that even those people present a "threat" to pushing me off the mental breakdown ledge I feel myself teetering on.
The conclusion we came to this morning was that our barbed wire fences were birthed out of a perceived need for self preservation, a valid need. Certainly not something we should ignore. We shouldn't beat ourselves up for getting to that self preservation place but rather acknowledge the fact that somewhere along the way that healthy life balance somehow got shoved way, way, waaaay off the balanced-life track.
That's where the reflection comes in. What is it in my life exactly that has gotten me so off balance? Am I just in a particularly difficult season and therefore my expectations for how much I'm going to be able to give of myself should necessarily be less than in other, less demanding, less stressful seasons of life? Because if that's the case, we've got to show ourselves a little compassion, realize that this season too shall pass, and probably even explain to those very dear friends that, we're not able to be the friend, daughter, lover, whatever that we might like to be right now but it has nothing to do with how much we appreciate their companionship and value the relationship.
It's just something I'm thinking about. Sometimes you can be surrounded by people and still be shut down and shutting them out. If the goal is to be present and actively engaged in the beautiful world around us as much as possible, then it's worth the effort to figure out what people, activities or things in our lives are potentially jeopardizing our healthy life balance and robbing us of being able to experience this joy in its entirety.
Okay. That's quite philosophical enough for one morning.