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Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Somewhere along the way I absorbed the idea that not only was my worth wrapped up in my productivity, but that my exhaustion was a status symbol. It was a symbol of my value, my intellect, my compassion, my….the list goes on and on. Some years ago, I emerged from grad school with dreams of saving the world at all cost. What I didn’t expect or realize until recently was most of this cost came at my own expense. Hours of working, hours of giving, hours of depletion of my own mental, physical and emotional resources. Now this is not to say that my experiences in service to others was misguided in some way, I am grateful for all of it. But rather, I am becoming more aware of how I often gave beyond what was healthy and in total disregard for my own needs and self care. For many years I wore this exhaustion as a badge of honor. My value was tangled and immeshed in giving every last drop that I had to offer, often with little regard as to the reality that such a way of living was in no way sustainable. It was only when I reached a point where literally my body gave out that I begin to rethink the framework in which I was operating. I wish I could say that I came by this realization in a glorious epiphany, but instead it took literal rock bottom to clear the cobwebs and point me in the direction of the truth of my own intrinsic worth. I am slowly learning the value of listening to my own body and mind and moving in ways that support my highest good. I no longer wear exhaustion as a crown, but instead I am learning to give and serve from a more healthy space that already knows its worth and doesn’t have to prove it to anyone. And frankly, I am enjoying the rest!

Rev. Ryan

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