I hate being tired. Its a sensation I have really struggled with. Up until a few years ago I could say it’s something I struggled with my whole life. The feeling of treading water. Of survival. Of feeling the need to cancel outings because the idea of getting dressed was just too much to handle. Being constantly cranky, irritable and analytical.
I never thought to look at my fatigue as life’s red flag that something was seriously out of alignment WITHIN me.
It wasn’t until I started observing what was happening in my life, what was going on at the time my life energy would leave my body, leaving me living in an empty shell.
I gave away my power. I lived in self-sacrifice. I gave away pieces of myself to other people so they could be happy. Including my kids.
If I was to really boil down the one thing, the root cause of my chronic fatigue I would say it was fear. I was afraid to look at myself. Afraid of making changes, afraid of the unknown they would bring. I was afraid of conflict. I was afraid to say no, to disappoint a friend or let them down (to be honest, I still am working on a few of these but making progress) I was even one of those people who WAS disappointed when I was told no! This is because I didn’t understand boundaries. I hadn’t learnt about them yet, I didn’t know how important they were.
These acts left me lying on the floor wishing death to free me. I know that sounds morbid and a little dramatic but i’m being real.
How to turn it on its head? Simply honouring myself. Society seems to really struggle with the concept of self care. I get it, I was amongst those numbers. Let me summarise what I have learnt self care to be, just so we’re on the same page:
Self care is talking to yourself like you would a friend. Not putting yourself down or giving yourself unrealistic expectations. Self care is allowing the kitchen to go dirty because you’re tired and need rest. Self care is reaching out to a friend because you’re lonely and need connection. Its being aware of your needs – then meeting them. Its ending relationships that are draining you. Its saying no to people because you are at your capacity. It’s knowing your boundaries and limits and respecting them. It’s trusting yourself. It’s knowing yourself well enough not to worry about outside judgements. It’s not making excuses as to why you can’t. Self care is honouring your basic needs of rest and diet. Its breathing life into the parts of you that wake you up like painting, creating, dancing or singing.
Self care is the OPPOSITE of selfishness. Selfishness is when you don’t take care of yourself and then the people around you take in the brunt force of your tiredness, agitation and aggression. Selfishness is when you blame others for your foul mood and expect them to hold that space for you. It’s when you come home from work unappreciative, expecting others to meet your needs for you, taking out your stressful day on the people around you so you can feel back in control again.
For the record; I was one of these people. I have been selfish. I actually needed to experience this so I could learn the depths of self care’s importance. So please try patience with those who are still learning or better yet honour your own boundaries fearlessly.
This magic remedy however, won’t suddenly shift your whole world into perfect alignment. No. It takes time. It takes careful observation. It takes the willingness to see the ugly side of yourself. To see what YOU are allowing in your space. To truly look at yourself in the mirror and own your actions enough to be ready to change them. To accept responsibility for your life as it is.
That’s tough work. But worth it. This I can promise you. It’s so totally worth it. I still feel tired, but it’s normal person tired. It means I had a late night or I have had to hold extra space with the kids. I now know it means I have to create the balance for it. Reduce our outside commitments. Make extra effort to meditate, read or eat a cheeky treat because I love myself.
I am finally at this point in my life where I am balanced (or at least can always come back to balance). I can find the tools I need to get through a tough day or have a tough conversation. I am at peace when I am tried because I know it won’t last forever or I know what needs to change and I change it, restoring balance again to life which is ever flowing in either direction. I am surrounded by people that support me AND that I love to support too. Life is flowing. It’s abundant with happiness. Its everything I fantasised about when my days were at their darkest.
I can only hope that you as the reader, if you can relate in any way, can see the gifts this journey brings. It brings wisdom and wealth of heart if you only open yourself up to it.
Many blessings to my tired friends out there, if you don’t have the will to change now, trust that it will come when it’s ready.