Leadership

The War of Passion and Exhaustion

It is interesting how the degree of “goodness” of what we are working toward (or are in the middle of) doesn’t safeguard against us waning passion. So how do we pursue and sustain passion in the midst of having a wearied soul? In this blog post we explore this question.

There are two types of tired in my book. 

One is a basic, external tiredness. The “I’m-not-in-college-anymore” feeling of wanting to go to bed at 9:00 p.m. instead of going out at 9:00 p.m.

The other is a tiredness of the soul. It is a constant ache, a burdensome feeling of longing and lack. The Bible often refers to it as being “weary.” Or another word, “lassitude,” also nails it on the head: an uneasiness proceeding from continued waiting, disappointed expectation or exhausted patience. 

I’m not a stranger to this feeling. Being an entrepreneur working 10 years toward the same goal with my media company, Darling – toward a mission of reframing how women see their bodies, worth, and souls – my own soul has often (unfortunately) become weary even while trying to do something good, worthwhile, and meaningful. 

It is interesting how the degree of “goodness” of what we are working toward (or are in the middle of) doesn’t safeguard against us waning passion. For example, consider parenting. As one of the highest callings we can pursue, it can be so exhausting that our passion to be an “intentional” parent wears as thin as a pair of old socks. In this cycle of deep tiredness, guilt can creep in because we know we “should” feel joy and sustained energy, but it’s not there. 

So how do we pursue and sustain passion in the midst of having a wearied soul? 

The other day I heard a phrase from my pastor that sums up all my experiences with this cycle of refreshment and fatigue. He said, “Perhaps we’ve lost our vision. Perhaps we are tired, but we are not actually tired, we are just malnourished.” 

I’ve learned this lesson the hard way, going through seasons of deep weariness needlessly—simply because I didn’t take a moment to stop. I didn’t whisper, “be still my soul,” say a simple prayer, or read the Word. Why? It was because I thought that when the Bible says beautiful phrases such as, “renew a right spirit within me,” that this was hard, time-consuming work.

I didn’t realize that realignment with God was actually so simple and could be done in the midst of my rawest, messiest and most unaligned daily circumstances. 

What I now (imperfectly) practice is a reframed strategy for connection with God and reorientation toward my passion. I simply take it moment by moment, actually tuning in to listen to my soul, asking it questions and then asking God to speak directly to it. My favorite phrase that a counselor told me once is to “think about what you’re thinking about.” Essentially, listen to the story you’re telling yourself. Often when we feel discouraged or not sustained, it is simply because we are listening to an untrue narrative. 

When we can identify what this narrative is, combat it on the spot and learn to get some instant “nourishment” from the Word, from a prayer, from a simple alignment with truth, the fatigue doesn’t have a chance to weigh as heavily, because it’s being cast off, moment by moment. 

We only have one day at a time, and that day is made up of small moments that we can listen to and fill with truth, simply and quickly. It’s no secret that God is longing to fill us up again with joy and energy, so we must not overcomplicate it, but simply accept it.

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The War of Passion and Exhaustion

The War of Passion and Exhaustion

It is interesting how the degree of “goodness” of what we are working toward (or are in the middle of) doesn’t safeguard against us waning passion. So how do we pursue and sustain passion in the midst of having a wearied soul? In this blog post we explore this question.

Show notes

There are two types of tired in my book. 

One is a basic, external tiredness. The “I’m-not-in-college-anymore” feeling of wanting to go to bed at 9:00 p.m. instead of going out at 9:00 p.m.

The other is a tiredness of the soul. It is a constant ache, a burdensome feeling of longing and lack. The Bible often refers to it as being “weary.” Or another word, “lassitude,” also nails it on the head: an uneasiness proceeding from continued waiting, disappointed expectation or exhausted patience. 

I’m not a stranger to this feeling. Being an entrepreneur working 10 years toward the same goal with my media company, Darling – toward a mission of reframing how women see their bodies, worth, and souls – my own soul has often (unfortunately) become weary even while trying to do something good, worthwhile, and meaningful. 

It is interesting how the degree of “goodness” of what we are working toward (or are in the middle of) doesn’t safeguard against us waning passion. For example, consider parenting. As one of the highest callings we can pursue, it can be so exhausting that our passion to be an “intentional” parent wears as thin as a pair of old socks. In this cycle of deep tiredness, guilt can creep in because we know we “should” feel joy and sustained energy, but it’s not there. 

So how do we pursue and sustain passion in the midst of having a wearied soul? 

The other day I heard a phrase from my pastor that sums up all my experiences with this cycle of refreshment and fatigue. He said, “Perhaps we’ve lost our vision. Perhaps we are tired, but we are not actually tired, we are just malnourished.” 

I’ve learned this lesson the hard way, going through seasons of deep weariness needlessly—simply because I didn’t take a moment to stop. I didn’t whisper, “be still my soul,” say a simple prayer, or read the Word. Why? It was because I thought that when the Bible says beautiful phrases such as, “renew a right spirit within me,” that this was hard, time-consuming work.

I didn’t realize that realignment with God was actually so simple and could be done in the midst of my rawest, messiest and most unaligned daily circumstances. 

What I now (imperfectly) practice is a reframed strategy for connection with God and reorientation toward my passion. I simply take it moment by moment, actually tuning in to listen to my soul, asking it questions and then asking God to speak directly to it. My favorite phrase that a counselor told me once is to “think about what you’re thinking about.” Essentially, listen to the story you’re telling yourself. Often when we feel discouraged or not sustained, it is simply because we are listening to an untrue narrative. 

When we can identify what this narrative is, combat it on the spot and learn to get some instant “nourishment” from the Word, from a prayer, from a simple alignment with truth, the fatigue doesn’t have a chance to weigh as heavily, because it’s being cast off, moment by moment. 

We only have one day at a time, and that day is made up of small moments that we can listen to and fill with truth, simply and quickly. It’s no secret that God is longing to fill us up again with joy and energy, so we must not overcomplicate it, but simply accept it.

video transcript

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