An important lesson to learn during one’s lifetime is when to stop. Motivational speakers and encouragers of all kinds focus on persistence. This is correct, since most people struggle with laziness and procrastination.
However, there is also the phenomenon of “too much.” When our egos, desires, and drives push us to go beyond what our other life structures can bear, we run the risk of breaking down in one or more areas.
For example, I did my long run of 7 miles yesterday. However, I noticed that my right knee was really hurting. It had gone beyond mere soreness to persistent pain. I finished the run (mainly because I had to make my way back to my vehicle), but I’m choosing to rest today and tomorrow rather than push it further.
My ego and my desires want to keep running. My irrational fears tell me that something will be lost if I don’t push on. But, fortunately, my smarter self knows better. Resting the knee now will allow me to continue happily for months and years and decades to come.
The same thing applies to other areas. Sometimes we push our careers, our spiritual growth, our relationships, etc. beyond their level of natural achievement and stability. Pushing ourselves too far career-wise can compel us to work hard – but only for show. We are hoping someone will notice and promote us. We get resentful when it doesn’t happen. Pushing ourselves too far spiritually could cause us to adopt fictitious personas, rather than be real with people. We pretend we’re not angry when we are, because we don’t want to “throw away” all our hard spiritual progress. Or we pretend everything is fine in our relationships when they’re actually falling apart. Rather than deal with the issue courageously, we ignore the needs of our partner and tell ourselves that everything is fine.
It’s always better to BE fine than to PRETEND to be fine. Do what you have to do to heal yourself, regardless of what anyone has to say, regardless of any embarrassment you might feel. Your ego is not your friend in this case. Listen to the smaller voice of wisdom which tells you to take care of yourself and your situation in a wise and balanced way. Rest, nurture, repair.
Then come back stronger than ever!
Peace and love,