I groggily open my eyes with a growing awareness of a voice speaking loudly. As my mind starts to makes sense of patterns of words, I realise the voice is describing the traffic. I focus to my right and decipher the numbers on my alarm clock. Hmm! My radio alarm been going for nearly half an hour and I’ve slept through it. I admit I still use a clock radio that’s older than my young adult children! I try to get out of bed but I can’t summon the muscle energy to coordinate the effort. I know I have to write this blog and my writing time is disappearing with each moment that passes, but I just can’t do it. I’m tired. Tired to my core. A mixture of body fatigue from the excursion of teaching all day on my feet yesterday before heading to a meeting at night, mind tiredness from meeting deadlines and emotional wipe out from unrelenting change and loss. It’s been a long year!
At the end of your relationship you may feel the same. Each day you drag yourself out of bed, often after a poor night’s sleep, desperate for the energy to ‘do’ the day. Bound by the pain of loss and grief your hope is drained, emptying your strength with it. Fear may be grabbing your heals and pinning you to the ground with the exhaustion of mind, body and soul.
It creates an image of being stuck in the mud, movement resisted by fatigue. Weighed down and unable to lift, how do you find the strength to fly again, to experience joy in life and live your purpose healed and whole from the end of your relationship?
The words from Simon and Garfunkle’s song ‘Bridge over troubled water’ which begins with, ‘When you’re weary’ provide a solution.
Click here to listen to the song
The words of the song express the notion of how we need extra from the outside when we have exceeded our limit of strength, when we are done and when we cannot go any further. When stuck in emptiness, we know we need to be supplied with something or someone else, just to take one more step.
At the end of a relationship or in times of crisis in our lives, we can be overwhelmed by grief or the tasks at hand. Here’s 3 ways to find strength to fly again:
- Have others to surround and support
To keep going you need to tap into a support network and be filled with their strength. Friends, family, a supportive community can all be wells from which you can draw strength to refresh and keep going. The strength deposits may be in the form of practical help: a cooked meal delivered to the door step, help with packing, doing the groceries when you are too busy to get to the shop. Strength can come from a note of encouragement, a listening ear or a hug. Surround yourself with supportive people who will give you strength when you are weary.
- Rest and restore
Take time out; time to re-create. Time to invest in something that fills you.
Often in the mess of the end of a relationship and the demands of single parenting if you have children, you can lose sight of who you are, what you enjoy and what fills you. If this is you, think about your past – what did you do to rest? What did you do for activities that you enjoyed such as hobbies, sport, and leisure. Can you start one of these again? What people did you hang out with who filled you? Can you connect with old friends or go out socially and find new ones?
- Free your feet from the yuk that anchors you to the ground.
Learn to manage your grief. Practise forgiveness to help with bitterness click here. Scrape it off your feet so you are not sucked earthwards. Do you need counselling, a support group? Lighten your load with journaling or debriefing with a friend, to travel more lightly.
There’s a fourth way.
The image of being stuck in the mire is a biblical one (Psalm 40:2 and 69:14), as is the image of soaring on wings likes eagle . As a Christian when I reach the end of my strength, I am so glad I have someone else to draw from. My God, who promises strength for the weary.
…those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
Putting legs on it
- Take one step to build your support network. Call a friend. Make an appointment with a counsellor.
- Put time in your schedule to do one thing that fills you this week.
- Use the resources in ‘Free your feet from the yuk’ to find one thing you can do to scrape the mud from your feet and do it this week.
- Repeat until your burdens are lighter and you can fly again!