- Steph Fink encouragedinheart.org
Victory in Living Beyond the Hamster Wheel
My friend, are you running on empty? Are you tired of being tired?
Are you over EVERYTHING?
Is it time to fill er’ up but you don’t know what, where to start, or how to get off the freakin’ hamsterwheel?The signs and symptoms of running on empty are subtle and not-so-subtle. There’s something very special about being in my 40’s that is so freeing. There’s been sort of an awakening, a renaissance that’s happened, kind of like when you were in school and you were given a permission slip to skip a class; I’ve given myself a permission slip to skip the crap and be me. And it’s good. Freakishly good, a tad scary, and very freeing.
As I very broadly look back to capture my years – here’s the big picture. My teenage years were all about me – it was the me show. Then in my twenties, I felt like I was trying to prove myself – really more to myself than any one else but in life, work, and serving I wore my butt flat out. Except my butt didn’t get flat – it got rounder. People pleasing is exhausting.
In my thirties, I sort of drifted away and lost myself in the 3 M’s – marriage, motherhood, and ministry.
I wanted to be a good wife, mom, and Christian by trying to slay all areas…except in self care. I mean, I dabbled in self care but had other things I prioritized higher. I placed me low on the priority list and ran around, far too often on empty. If someone had a need, I wanted to be the woman to help. And I wore out and often resentfully went to bed thinking, “All that I’ve done for….” or “What about me?”
The thing is I used my 3M’s to avoid another M – me. There were cracks that needed attention but I kept on doing good stuff to avoid the best stuff, the happy and hard work.
I love people. I love my people. I love connecting with old people and meeting new people. I’ve learned that it’s impossible to fully love people unless I’ve also loved myself. I can’t pour into others if I’m pouring from and empty cup. Drips aren’t filling.
Through most of my life, I’ve poured from an empty cup. Yes, even after loving Jesus, I often poured from an empty cup because I thought that meant I was doing a really good job as a Christian. I’ve since learned that serving others as a way to avoid myself does not in any way honor them or my Jesus. Loving people is so important but to fully love others, I must fully love myself. It’s time to un-apologetically FILL ER’ UP!
So I made a list because journaling helps me process life.
Things I Do That Make Me Feel Full:
Honest talking with friend
Sitting and pray
Living out my purpose
Protecting and enjoying family Sunday
Undisturbed time with my family
Enjoying a good meal
Waking up early
Having a session with my counselor
Praying for someone I’m ticked off at
Reading a good book
Going to a support meeting
Trusting my gut
Good night of sleeping
Advocating for myself
Drinking a good cup of coffee
Visiting social media
Identifying a healthy boundary and stating it
Enjoying a good glass of red wine or microbrew
Listening to a good podcast
Saying, “No.” to maintain margin
Painting my nails
Watching a good movie or TV show
Sitting by the water
Gathering with powerful, real, women
Things I Do That Make Me Feel Empty
Being around toxic people and behavior patterns
Overbooking my schedule
Being around too much noise for too long
Going to bed too late
Allowing others to manipulate me
Ignoring my healthy boundary
Bailing on/ignoring my emotions
Staying on social media for too long
Are you running on empty?
What are things you do that make you feel full? Examine what things you do that make you feel empty? The first step to changing your situation is to change your sitaution. One moment at a time!
(For more encouragement to be “BLESSED” and not “BUSY” – check out Steph’s newest book The Blessed Juggle From Cray to Okay in 30 Days! The book can be purchased by clicking here.
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