Endurance of Spirit

It has been a very challenging time of late. I have been struggling with finding the mental cohesion to post pretty much anything. Even writing in my prayer journal has become difficult. I have times where I feel like I am something inferior because of my difficulties. I know that a larger part of those feelings stem from my unhealthy self image and a truckload of distorted views on my self worth. Throw in a heaping pile of just plain difficult work managing the household, parenting, and the business of my children’s educational needs, and it gets really difficult to find the energy to do much of anything beyond exist. And even existing makes me exhausted.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen me post earlier tonight something about ‘running out of spoons’. It is a bit of shorthand to describe the state of mental and emotional exhaustion that I have when I run out of my energy to keep plugging at the challenges before me. We all start the day with a limited amount of energy and some of us have a bit more limited energy than others. Those of us, like myself, who have a deficiency in proverbial spoons (a unit of energy, if you will) find that we have to plan our days according to what we think we have the energy for. As a result, there are things that will get missed. As blogging is not a primary part of keeping the household running and my meeting my responsibilities as a wife and parent, it tends to find its way towards the lower end of the list.

Sometimes, I feel rather like all of this is a futile effort and that my energy should be placed elsewhere. This feeling, however, is not the fruit of a desire to be frugal in how I expend my resources but rather the result of that morass of unhealthy thinking that I struggle with on a daily basis. For, that unhealthy mess of thoughts tells me that my dreams are unworthy of actualization and that I am not deserving of success in any areas, among a lot of other terribly unpleasant things. As I sit with this tangle of unpleasant mess, I find myself sorely tempted at times to just give up.

But, I don’t. There is something down deep inside of me that just won’t let me. I can be in abject agony and I still will struggle forward, usually with a great deal of anger at being in said agony. Some people would call it tenacity. I think, however, tenacity is just an adjective to describe something more basic than that. Within me, my spirit is drawn to contest against the world and push to realize a specific vision of the world. I will thole my injuries (and sometimes foolishly try to act as though they’re not there) and continue to push towards making this vision real.

Sometimes, I have people ask me why I do everything the hard way. It is the same part of me that refuses to lay down and die at play here. I find myself confronted with a challenge and I see one single option that is fitting and honorable. Thus, I push myself to use it to manifest what I feel must come to be. After the fact, I will have people tell me that they couldn’t see how I did it and exclaim my courage. It bewilders me, because I saw only one viable option. It wasn’t a matter of courage against adversity as much as it was taking the sole option that makes sense.

Now, this rambling bit has a point. My spirit pushes me forward. It is what helps me to endure pretty much everything that has been thrown at me thus far in my life. Our spirits are far stronger than we realize. It is from our spirit that we derive the strength to do the seemingly impossible tasks. (And I will confess adrenaline helps in many cases as well.) As much as our higher brain tells us that what we face is insurmountable at times, that deeper primal part that is twined somewhere between spirit and biology tells us we can make it happen. In all honesty, that endurance and unwavering push to press forward is what keeps humanity moving forward.

It is my hope that somewhere within the depths of our collective hearts and minds, there is the force of our collective spirit that will push us to reverse the great tragedies unfolding in the world. It is my hope that we will stand against the evils of the world and create a more just world for our descendants and life at large. And I think it all begins in the refusal of individuals to give up when things get painfully difficult.

Thus, I continue to write. Even when I don’t have the spoons for it.

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