And that is when we know we have emptied out. Our relationships start to suffer. We have nervous breakdowns. We feel exhausted and used up all the time. We can't control our emotions. Nothing makes us happy. Everything makes us angry. There's no joy any longer in anything. OR we find that we just don't feel anything at all. We have nothing left to give.
For the last couple of months or so, I've have been completely shut down. Oh, there have been moments and even a day or two where I felt I was coming out of it. I felt warm again. Joy was seeping into me. But then after a few hours, that horrible, cold, pressing feeling was right back.....making itself very comfortable in my chest and the pit of my stomach.
I began to feel this was normal again, the way it was for the first 25 years of my life. I found myself trying to just make peace with it and try to survive living with it. Just get through the day...and the next....and the next.
But then it hit me. The pain of staying the same began to outweigh the pain of changing it (a great quote I picked up somewhere). Enter my husband. My best friend even though we have absolutely nothing in common (which I think is hysterical. God has a great sense of humor). He's my hero.
He notices when I'm gone, mentally. Last night he said he can tell I'm empty. 'I can see it in your eyes'. And all the emptiness came to a head. Because I don't want to be empty. I don't want to be head under water all the time. I don't want to make peace with just surviving.
And I cried. And my sweet husband held me like a little baby, rubbed my back and rocked me back and forth while I wailed. And said he loved me.
The enemy of our souls wants you to feel alone and empty. He wants you to make peace with that horrible pressing hole in your chest. He wants you to overwhelm yourself with 'worthy' causes you probably were not meant to do all along. He wants you to be miserable. He wants to take everything from you so you have absolutely nothing left to give to your family, your friends, your job, yourself.
But.....you are a child of God. You are loved. You were lovingly made with limits. Know your limits. Ask your loved ones to help you say 'no' to good things so you can 'yes' to greater things that are actually meant for you (another great quote I stole from somewhere). You don't have to do everything.
Love yourself enough to set limits. Because in doing so, you are being love to everyone around you.
And everyone could use a little more love, starting with you.
Know your limits.