Is Your Life Sustainable?
“It is not exactly the rightness of a person or thing or its wrongness that causes the theft of our [true Self], it is the cost of these things to us. It is what costs us in time, energy, observation, attention, hovering, prompting, instructing, teaching, training. These motions of psyche are like cash withdrawals from the psychic savings account. The issue is not about these energetic cash withdrawals themselves, for these are an important part of life’s give and take. But it is being OVERDRAWN that causes the loss of the [Self], and the paling and dulling of one’s most acute instincts. It is lack of further deposits of energy, knowledge, acknowledgement, ideas, and excitement that causes a woman [or person] to feel she [or he] is psychically dying.”
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Women Who Run With The Wolves, p. 267 (words in brackets were added for context)
Here are some interesting questions to ask yourself: Is your life as it is set up right now sustainable? Is your relationship with yourself sustainable? How about your relationship with partners, children, friends or family members? Is your work sustainable? Is your diet, exercise, self-care, and activity level sustainable? What about the pace at which you move through life, or the amount of physical, emotional, cognitive, and/or spiritual responsibilities that you take on?
What I mean by sustainable is whether or not the people, places, things, activities, and emotional dynamics in your life AS THEY CURRENTLY STAND, are something that you can keep up with, withstand, or maintain for years to come without burnout. Maybe you are already burned out, depressed, having panic attacks, struggling with conflict in your relationships, losing sleep, or feeling trapped by what you have created in your life, and have no idea how to end the chaos, or that you even have a choice in the matter. Maybe this is all you have ever known and you just thought this is the way things are supposed to be.
In order to assess these questions, you may want to take some time to really be honest with yourself. Use a journal or other form of self-reflection to evaluate the quality of the relationships in your life and evaluate who or what needs attention, improvement, or overhaul. You may even discover extraneous obligations or toxic substances, people, or things that you can release and let go of. Here is where some of the tools we have been discussing over the past few weeks may come in handy. How might forgiveness, clarity, saying “NO,” or trusting your inner knowing help you? Or, ask yourself, “What do I need in order to bring my life into a state of sustainability?” How might a yoga, meditation, or other contemplative practice help?
Your relationship with yourself is the best foundation for this growth, so take time with yourself. Quiet down and listen. Commit to a self-care practice, or make a therapy appointment to enlist some support. You are so worth it!