As we get older, it can often feel like we’re always tired. It’s actually more than tired. It’s exhausted. Deeply fatigued, like we don’t have the energy to take the next step, never mind get through the day.
We eat better and exercise. We get more rest. We can’t figure out why our blood work comes back fine because surely, something must be wrong. Maybe a vitamin deficiency or low iron. An infection. Something we can fix. But not the case. Nothing is wrong.
Yet if we get wiser, we look beyond better nutrition and working out. We look beyond simplifying our schedule and getting more rest. We look at our mental and emotional health. Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Our relationships – with ourselves and others. Our overall approach to life and what’s important to us, or what’s no longer bringing value to our interior world.
It is then when we recognize that it may not be more sleep that we need, but more of the things that feed our soul, rather than starve it. That, and tranquility. We may find that our obsessive thoughts or imbalanced relationships are depleting us, leaving us weary and exhausted.
We may not come to this realization instantaneously, but gradually and unconsciously over time when we literally get sick and tired.
Because we continuously ignored the signs, suppressed the feelings and painted the red flags a color that worked for us. Until it didn’t.
It is then, when we reach that point, that we realize what we crave is peace of mind. We long for serenity. We need calm and stable. We have to get off the roller coaster that we may not have even been aware we were on. It just became our way of life and we put our seatbelt on, learned to work with it. Until we couldn’t any longer.
Toxic family, friends, partners or colleagues. Toxic environments or relationships.
Frankly, I think we overuse and misplace the word toxic. Any one of us can be toxic at any time, even the most fair, balanced, loving and generous person. There are conditions, dependencies and variables that can bring out the beast in the best of us. Doesn’t mean we are bad or other people are bad, but maybe we bring out the worst in each other.
Too often, people become unconsciously addicted to dysfunction. They rationalize and justify. They escape or suppress. They bottle up their feelings or irrationally explode, again and again.
Yet they hang in there. They keep trying. They refuse to give up. They accept that this is the way life is – family, relationships, friendships, work. This is just what they have to put up with.
But do they? It takes a wise person to recognize the difference and to know what we do need to tolerate, what is reasonable, and what is unacceptable.
When people don’t have the wisdom to recognize this, they find themselves tired. Exhausted, drained, depleted. Distracted, distant and removed.
Yet they can change it. It’s not easy. Fear of the unknown can paralyze people, cementing them in place without the vision to see beyond the here and now.
Fact is, maybe that better life they seek won’t come to be. Maybe there is no climactic entrance into a new chapter that will be all sunshine, butterflies and rainbows.
We have to face it – that’s not life. Life is hard. It’s wonderful, too, and how lucky are we to have woken up today – but it’s messy and difficult. We have to make the best of it.
If where you are or who you’re with today isn’t enhancing your life, isn’t bringing out the best in you, don’t be afraid to walk away. If your mind is tied up in confusion, hurt and loneliness, despite great efforts to make something work, don’t be afraid to walk away. If the pain of staying where you are is worse than the fear moving on, don’t be afraid to walk away.
Your peace of mind is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself – and others. It may not be exciting at first and you may endure periods of withdrawal when you find yourself alone with your thoughts, feeling alone and lost. But rest assured, that is temporary and as time moves on, it will be up to you to make it exciting.
Make certain to align your life, and the people you welcome into it, with your core values, morals and beliefs. You might just find that you end up with a renewed sense of energy, passion and vigor.