Have you ever gotten to the point where you sort of do not really feel any meaning about your actions anymore? Where you are wondering where all of then meaning and intentionality has gone? Where you kind of wonder where your feelings are, and where the light of your soul is?
To me, that is one of the strangest, weirdest feelings. I don’t understand it. I love music. I love talking to people and being all warm about existence and optimistic, but, for some odd reason, all of that feels very dead. I am not sure why, but I almost do not really feel like myself. I feel out of touch with who I am.
Every little structure and meaning in my life currently feels lifeless – I currently feel lifeless. My little meaningful series of playlists? I have fallen behind. Listening to music feels like a challenge right now. My schedules? Behind. My goals? Behind. Blog posts – which, I actually really do enjoy writing? Behind. Everything I put a lot of effort into initially this semester and was excited about? I am behind on all of them.
Maybe it’s burnout. Maybe I am a little too plugged in to everything. Maybe I am too stretched. Maybe I am too stressed, and it’s approached a limit where I am hitting a level of exhaustion. I don’t know.
All I know is I feel like I am really out of touch with myself, and I am really out of touch with reality. I can still work and keep going, but all of the parts of my life that deal with a sense of meaning have disappeared.
I have definitely missed the mark on a lot of the ideas I have reflected upon this semester these past few months.
Have I intentionally rested? Absolutely not.
Have I really actually thought a little bit more about my vocational goals and truly settled upon what I really want to do? No.
Have I worked to solve my problems with trust and anxiety? Eh, maybe. I just do not feel much right now, but I might have perhaps gotten a little better there.
Have I improved on my time management? Nope.
Have I lived in this grace I experienced? Kind of, but I have taken it for granted. The meaning is dimmed. And, perhaps, maybe I have not. I mean, I do not feel too accepting of myself right now. How accepting of myself, a failure, am I actually?
But perhaps, I can learn a thing or two in the midst of this darkness, and perhaps I just need to keep going. Maybe I can listen to my reflections on darkness and negative infinity? There’s an idea that might be useful to me right now. I really should just let go of my anxious control over everything and every commitment I am a part of because maybe I am burning myself out a little too fast. Perhaps I can keep walking on through this darkness, and maybe I’ll find God.
Yesterday, I led Sojourn’s team at Relay for Life at BU. I was exhausted and I almost backed down close to the date of the event – this was a commitment I made several months ago, but I have an assignment I am now several days late on, a partner assignment we are a week behind on, and another assignment that is due tomorrow. Plus, I have not gotten enough sleep lately.
I was stressed, I was tired. But I went. I had to. I had to be there for my team.
We were a small group, and I decided to walk the track for a while. It was invigorating. I walked alone, but in that still quiet internal loneliness, I felt sparks return. I needed that. I need to bring back the contemplative and mindful rhythms of a healthy spiritual life back into my life. How I do so? I do not even know anymore, I feel as though I do not have any time ever, and it’s hard to meditate or do centering prayer when you are half asleep.
I guess, again, I just need to keep trudging through this darkness, and hold my candle through the storms and day to day stresses ahead of me in the midst of these tense times in student life, in our current political and social climate, and in the midst of uncertainties about my future. And, if the storms ever rage too strongly and blow my candle away, I can hold steady, knowing that I will be able to relight this candle somewhere further.
Because, I know, just because I don’t feel the optimism, and the meaning, and the warmth, does not mean existence can no longer have optimism and meaning and warmth. This is only a temporary experience.
And I know, somewhere in all of this darkness, and tension, and stress, I will find God. `