You don't realize how much something weighs until you put it down. I've been carrying the responsibility for everyone, for a lifetime. Literally worrying, thinking about, staying connected to, and fighting for everyone in my social circles since before I was a teenager.
I had no idea how heavy that burden has been for decades. Until now. When I finally hit my breaking point. I am weary. I've been fighting battle after battle after battle for decades. Both my own and everyone else's. But recently I decided it was time to head back to camp, see the medic and lay down on a cot. I need to heal, I need to get off the front lines of combat. I need to get stuff taken care of inside me. And I need rest to really allow myself to heal for the first time in decades.
I have battle scars, injuries that I have neglected all this time. They've piled up so bad I cannot ignore them. And I don't want to ignore them anymore either. Which is a huge change for me. Not feeling the need to ignore these things. Not feeling the need to just push on, and on... And on.
You'd think after reading the Bible cover to cover so many times I would have had that light bulb moment...
Oh wait. Jesus often took time away alone to rest and be with His Father.
So why do I feel I have to keep pushing forward and fighting the darkness for everyone else without rest?!? Well because I am human like everyone else and can be dysfunctional, broken, messy. You know... all that stuff that makes us need Jesus ;)
I realized this morning on my walk that I spend an absolute mountain of time thinking about everyone else in my life. Whether that's processing what's going on in their lives, considering how else I can help them, or just taking effort to stay connected with them so they aren't fighting the darkness alone.
The problem is... that I have no time for myself and the people in my immediate family. At least mentally. Sure I am present in the body, but I am not present in the mind because I have spent 30% of my day thinking about everyone else. And it's draining. Combine with that I have to provide for my family which takes up another huge chunk of my daily thought life! At that point my family gets what's left over...
It's not ok for my family to have less of me than friends, coworkers, job, etc.
It's not ok.
The people I care most about should have the richest and biggest portion of my thoughts. They are the people that matter most to me, that I love after all!
So now I am on a journey. To recapture my health, both physically and mentally. And get my priorities straight. My family comes first, period. And for the first time in my life I define that "first" as my thought life, my emotional energy, not just my physical time.
"First" also means your thoughts and feelings, not just your time and money!