Tired? Burned out? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 December 2015 13:06

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Try prayer. Try getting in touch with God who is the source of all good things, including a peaceful and happy life even in the midst of all the difficulties, stresses, trials, failures in life, etc. He is the ultimate answer and solution whenever we find ourselves, for one reason or another, tired, burned out, or worse, falling into depression.

Remember Christ saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11,28) Let’s remember that even if tiredness, being burned out, depression and the like have their physical, emotional, psychological components, they in the end reveal something about the state of our spiritual life, our soul.

We should not be deceived by the thought that our tiredness is just an entirely physical phenomenon, or something only emotional, etc., and that it can be relieved and resolved by some rest through sleep, taking a walk, an excursion, etc., or taking some drugs and some psychologizing.

While it’s true that these natural and human relievers have to be resorted to also, we should not forget that in the end the ultimate reliever is Christ himself. Our tiredness, our feeling of being burned out, and worse, our sadness and depression should always be referred to Christ.

It’s he who knows what to do with all kinds of situations and predicaments we can find ourselves in. It’s he who gives the whole picture and the meaning of things. In the end, it’s he who will take up with us everything that we may go through in life.

More than us, it’s he who carries the burden, and reassures us that everything would be just fine. When our tiredness also becomes his, everything will be bearable and meaningful. Remember his words: “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Mt 11,30)

We need to make some drastic changes of attitude and skills. Aside from staying calm and trying to sort out things to form some strategy to tackle our tiredness, we have to pray and ask for God’s help.

This approach may look at first as being passive or evasive or unrealistic. But this is actually what is proper to us who, in spite of our mistakes and failures, continue to be God’s image and likeness, and children of his.

God who is a loving Father will always rush to our aid. To be sure, we would not be exempted from pain and suffering, but he can always give us some amount of peace and joy in the midst of all that suffering. We can find meaning in everything.

We just have to strengthen our faith, and deepen our humility since pride is what spoils and distorts everything. We should go beyond a knee-jerk reaction to our tiredness, and much less fall for the many deceptive human and natural relievers.

The most that these human and natural relievers can give us is some transitory relief. But if resorted to regularly without linking them to God, they can lead us to the dangers of addiction, obsessions and other compensatory tactics that would become riskier each time they are used.

This, sad to say, is what is happening these days. Many people are drifting into more dangerous escape mechanisms. And so, we get this intriguing phenomenon that while we seem to enjoy some material progress, we are actually also having a lot of spiritual, internal and hidden suffering—anguish, tension, anxiety, fear, etc.

We need to understand that our tiredness and all other forms of our weakness are very good occasions to go to God. They are a fertile ground to develop a more intimate relation with Christ. Remember St. Paul’s words: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12,10)

It’s in these situations that we are given a lot of opportunities to have a deeper understanding of our life here on earth. More, we are given a lot of opportunities to identify ourselves more with Christ, which is what our ultimate identity is all about.

What may appear as a bad time or bad news for us, humanly speaking, is actually a golden time, a good news, spiritually speaking. If we only activate our faith, which in the first place is given to us abundantly, then we can enter into a much richer reality where our tiredness and all other forms of human weakness have great sanctifying value.

We need to wake up to this reality. As I’ve said, we need to do some drastic adjustments in our attitudes and skills to conform ourselves better to this wonderful reality.