Bone Deep Weary
July 30, 2012 § 56 Comments
Early this morning I stood in a clearing in the woods behind my house. The morning sun carved channels through the mist. The air was crisp and cool. Idyllic.
And yet while standing in that palace of nature, my tortured mind wouldn’t stop. Too much to do. Too little time. Too many failings. Negative thoughts tumbling through my head. There, in that perfect setting, I was coming undone.
I know what I believe. I know that peace is always right there for me. But knowing the way and being the way are two different things.
Sometimes I think I should just give up. Go back to living in my head. Embrace repression. Set aside this wearying quest for self-awareness. Or maybe just take a break. Just rest for a bit, I think.
I can’t know what’s ahead. So maybe I will someday give up on this. But not today. Or at least not in this moment.
This bone deep weariness that comes upon me is something I must just accept. Let it come. And after it passes, start again. That’s what I’ll do.
with great effort comes exponentially greater rewards, tom
(just don’t be attached to the reward – i know you aren’t)
All I can possibly say at this moment…..is simply….Don’t you dare ever stop!……
For me, reading of your emotions, your experiences .. your struggles of the everyday and your great talent in allowing me to see the world though your eyes….is a very real and very comforting reassurance…as I travel my own path.
Your talent for emotional observation is only surpassed, by your eloquent style in writing about it.
Well, my words do fail me now in trying to express adequately what your reply means to me.
You give me strength and energy. Thank you.
When next I feel the weariness, I’ll try to think of your kind words and your support for my work.
you know what was amaaazing ..
first paragraph, i’m floating along like i’m lying on a cloud feeling oo la la until the second paragraph.
then i’m so nervous, so undone, i can’t read anymore. i felt all your fear. uncomfortable. then i see this and i stop and smile at myself.
words are a virus. they have so much more power than we could ever imagine ..
This was my best effort to express exactly what I was feeling that morning. Feeling more centered now but those moments…close to the brink.
Thanks, Miss Rosen, for the visit and the comment.
you expressed it perfectly. i was swept away by the radical change in your experience. and it happens to me all the time, so i empathize. it is so hard to be torn asunder by the whinges of the ego rumbling link thunder.
perhaps the only thing i can do is to remind myself it is all just noise. and that works sometimes, and sometimes i’m like the dog hiding under the bed. goood times ~*~
Love the honesty Tom. So many talk about the the joys and benefits of mindfulness, awareness. But is is not an easy or linear path.
Jonathan, yes, this is an honest, real depiction of my thoughts and feelings. Not a linear path- that’s a great way of expressing it. But what other path could we walk?
I have to say, Thomas, that I was encouraged that even you get this bone deep weary feeling. I feel like this sometimes too, and I think, why am I so weak? But when I see that others go through this, even others like you, who seem so solid, I am encouraged. We are all just the same in this, aren’t we? We all have our limits. Our strengths.
Glad to know you will keep moving on with this journey.
Bethany, we’re all in this together- sometimes strong, sometimes faltering, but always supporting each other.
Hi Tom — I can certainly identify with this; but I’m also a firm believer in Robert Frost’s maxim that the only way out is through it. And it seems like you’ve come to that conclusion on your own, which is fantastic, but I know how hard it can be to walk the walk. It’s like my chaplain back at Williams College, the wonderful Rev. Rick Spalding, told me: “the journey within requires a helmet.” Still, I think, as hard as attempting human flourishing and a full range of human feeling is for all of us moderns, it is better than the alternative, which is a life unexamined. What is our consciousness for, if not to investigate itself? I’m reminded here of Hegel’s notion of History being Spirit, and Spirit becoming aware of itself for the first time in the form of human cognition. Big medicine from old Georg Wilhelm Friedrich!
Ben, so happy you swung by my blog.
I agree with your take on this. Believing what I believe, what choice do I have really?
Glad we’re connected in the blog world.
I am so appreciative of your honesty in this post. Many times, we find ourselves struggling to put our “game face” forward. However, accepting those moments when you’re simply “bone deep weary” shows great courage and conviction that once you deal with the emotions at hand…you can move forward to newfound positive energy. I hope the rest of the week is good to you!
Laura, thank you.
Feeling more consistently centered now. It’s a beautiful thing to know that you are out there supporting me- and so many others- with your example and your thoughtful words.
Glad to hear you’re in a better place today, Tom. Yes, what would we do without the support of others to help lift us through the difficult days? Enjoy your Wednesday!
Powerful and honest post Thomas. Some words you will know so well immediately come to mind, “Things arise and she lets them come. Things disappear and she lets them go.” I especially appreciate your own advise, “Just rest for a bit, I think.” What a worthy and fulfilling path you are on.
Chris, this is such an uplifting reply for me to encounter this morning.
So beautifully put,Tom! How well I know that “bone deep weary” feeling. The spiritual path is certainly not for the faint of heart. We can learn much from our dark moments if we allow the lessons to come. Our challenge is to pull ourselves up, brush ourselves off and start again. Just one more step taken in faith – that is all that is required. Blessings and peace. Chris
Chris, yes, I can imagine that you know this feeling. I also believe that each of us finds solace and strength from our writing and from reading the work of others. I know I feel that when I read your posts- and this reply.
A letter from Mr. Curly to Vasco Pyjama in “The Curly Pajama Letters” by Michael Leunig
What is worth doing and what is worth having?
I would like to say simply this. It is worth doing nothing and having a rest; in spite of all the difficulty it may cause you must rest Vasco –otherwise you will become restless!
I believe the world is sick with exhaustion and dying of restlessness. While it is true that periods of weariness help the spirit to grow, the prolonged ongoing state of fatigue to which our world seems to be rapidly adopting is ultimately soul destroying as well as earth destroying. The ecology of evil flourishes and love cannot take root in this sad situation. Tiredness is one of our strongest, most noble and instructive feelings. It is an important aspect of our conscience and must be heeded or else we will not survive. When you are tired you must act upon it sensibly – you must rest like the trees and animals do.
Yet tiredness has become a matter of shame! This is a dangerous development.
Tiredness has become the most suppressed feeling in the world. Everywhere we see people overcoming their exhaustion and pushing on with intensity—cultivating the great mass mania which all around is making life so hard and ugly—so cruel and meaningless—so utterly graceless—and being congratulated for overcoming it and pushing it deep down inside themselves as if it were a virtue to do this.
And of course Vasco, you know what happens when such strong and natural feelings are denied—they turn into the most powerful and bitter poisons with dreadful consequences. We live in a world of these consequences and then wonder why we are so unhappy.
So I gently urge you Vasco, do as we do in Curly Flat—learn to curl up and rest—feel your noble tiredness—learn about it and make a generous place for it in your life and enjoyment will surely follow.
I repeat it’s worth doing nothing and having a rest.
Mr. Curly XXX
Christine, I wasn’t aware of Leunig’s work until this reply. Now I understand why he’s a “National Treasure” over there.
“It’s worth doing nothing and having a rest.” Will never forget that wisdom.
A beautiful, inspiring reminder.
And just what I need right now.
Nell, so glad this post could help a bit. Hearing from you returns the favor for me.
I imagine some people reading this will be relieved and as much inspired by this post as by your others. We all get tired, sometimes exhausted… It is easier to share the beautiful moments and the moments of peace and enlightenment. But in sharing your downtimes, your doubts and your failings you confirm that you are human and that makes your wisdom all the more potent.
Cassie, when I began writing this blog, I shied away from putting myself into the writing in any explicit way. That’s changed obviously.
When I write in this more personal way, I don’t just understand the messages- I feel them in a visceral way. It’s a more potent experience for me. I’m thrilled that you feel it too.
Bone Deep Weary (onlyhereonlynow.com) The Flow, yo Animus Totem Are we adding some much-needed sanity to the world? (beyondmeds.com) Creative Mind (dranilj1.wordpress.com) Judge Not Others (livinginthenow.net)
Nicole, I read your beautiful post in which you send your readers to this post, as well as the others you mention here.
Thanks for coming by. Stay fluid.
As we journey this path there are times of weariness for us all. Your blog is a beautiful heartfelt reminder that we are not alone.
Jennifer, I feel less alone when I read this reply. Thank you. Tom
Beautifully written and expressed.
I know that feeling – like all the energy has drained from you, and all you can do is stand in a sort of self-induced paralysis … tired and lost and overwhelmed. Not a good place.
I am just coming off a month-long streak of insanity and chaos with my work schedule. Grateful for all the client work and happy that (knock on wood), I’ve been able to keep everyone happy, but … but … at some point, you have to stop. At least, I do.
This past weekend was the first one I haven’t worked in at least a month, maybe longer. My beau asked me what I wanted to do. “Nothing,” I replied without hesitation. I napped. I walked. I read an entire book in one sitting. I withdrew from the normal grind. It felt wonderful. It felt sane. It felt like someone had put the ground back under my feet.
I believe that these waves of exhaustion and thoughts of giving up are part of the journey … not tests, necessarily, but just part of the landscape that we have chosen to walk through. Like you, I try to look upon them without feeling the need to make a judgment or a change. Just put one foot in front of the other, or stop – for a moment – and let it all wash over me. Know that this too shall pass.
It always does.
Jamie, yes, you got it. “Let it all wash over me” sounds right to me.
Sorry that you’ve been so swamped with work but following your twitter and blog, I’m not surprised that many, many people would want your guidance and help.
So let’s keep supporting each other. It means a lot to me.
Knowing you are weary and tired with life’s circumstances is okay. We have to learn to forgive ourselves and recognise when a break is due.
Pursuing internal happiness is a tough job after all. Please take the time to find your balance and sit down in that clearing next time to feel nothingness.
Nothingness is something you may need now.
I too struggle with authenticity. Some days I am a walking fraud (according to me) but it is part of the journey you are on and just like the days that provide joy and awakening you have to accept the days that you do not. From nothingness is where I get some of my best ideas (not the fraud talking now 😉 )
Lesley, your reply is filled with phrases and thoughts that resonate with my experience- that “walking fraud” phrase for sure.
But also the idea of feeling the nothingness. I know that feeling. A very good thing.
And the struggle for “authenticity.” The struggle for each of us.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read the post and share all these thoughts. It’s a big thing to me.
I know that feeling, we all do. Giving in to it is easy, but not nearly as rewarding as the small wins for pushing threw and learning just a little bit more about ourselves when we do. BTW: This was a great way to start my week.
Susan, yes, don’t we each know that feeling?
It helps to know that you are not alone in faltering, not alone in wanting to give up sometimes. But we push through, start again. And your gracious attention to my writing helps, a lot.
I love how you saw the process & talked yourself through it! We all experience that weariness sometimes; it IS so tempting to give up.
On behalf of all sentient beings, I thank you for continuing. 🙂
Continuing, yes. Knowing what I know, what other choice really?
Struggle, fall away, chuck it in? yeah, from time to time. But I’ll always return.
Thank you for the kind words.
This was so beautiful to read. It was just what I needed this morning as I sit here at work and (clearly not 100% working) look over the endless tasks I have to do today. So well written, so visual. I loved it so much I had to share it on twitter: ) Have a great day!
Nina, you are so kind and thoughtful in your response to my writing. I am deeply appreciative.
I’m happy that we are connected.
Rest. Stop. Pause. Sabbath.
Thank you for the wise words.
I just read and re read your post. Reading it again digesting what you are saying. Often when we feel like giving up on a project is oftentimes when we have a major breakthrough. The light will come again and again as will the darkness and shadow in our lives. It takes time to make changes in our lives; even a lifetime may never be long enough. Perhaps it is time to take a rest and seek peace within. None of us know of what s ahead, so live in the moment, and allow your life to unfold in its natural way. ‘When I let go of what I am I become what I might be’ Lao Tzu. Allow the gentle healing of nature to embrace you. When the time is right you will start again.
Anne, yes, yes.
The struggle is itself a blessing. To know serenity and peace we have to know what it doesn’t feel like, we have to experience the dark and unsteady times as well.
And I love your final sentence- “When the time is right, you will start again.” I will.
I am sorry, here is the link to the post I told you about. I linked to the wrong thing: http://www.thesimplesalt.com/?p=266
Dear Tom, Once again your post has struck a chord. Thank you. I have been in that place many times, going through a negative spiral, thinking it will take too much to get out of it and feeling like a might as well just give up and give in. A little less than two months ago, I had an experience where my husband and I received medical news about our daughter that wasn’t what we expected, and I was really angry and I felt like a fool, ready to throw up my hands. But like you said in your post, an instant in the midst of insanity is all I needed to turn it around. A deep breath. Acceptance of where I was in that single moment. For an instant I looked for a better way. I gave these thoughts over and found peace. So, I wrote about that experience in this post: (I’m not trying to promote my blog, but feel like it was a similar experience and might be helpful. http://www.thesimplesalt.com/?cat=4.
Thank you again!
Elizabeth, first, don’t worry about looking like you’re “plugging your blog.” I’ll do that for you. Your “simplesalt” writings are always thoughtful and beautifully composed works. I recommend them to everyone.
We find our peace in somewhat different ways perhaps but we also share the centrality of acceptance. Giving it up to God or letting go of the past and living in the present moment are parallel paths, I believe.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post and compose your thoughtful reply.
Thank you so much for your support of my work. I am so grateful and humbled. Thank you. I whole-heartedly believe that giving it up to God or letting go of the past and living in the present are certainly parallel paths. And these many paths lead to the same place, Truth. It’s going back to the past or fretting about the future where the lies can be found. The lies that keep us locked in. The only thing that exists is the present. The only thing that is true is the present. I believe that with all of my heart. Please keep writing! Your words help so many of us. Sincerely, Elizabeth
Thomas, I often (daily) find the question in my mind, “Is it more tiring trying to maintain my inner calm in the face of the flood of stress and outside distractions, or is it a greater chore actually *dealing* with all of it?” Most days I can’t answer the question, but I make a choice and move forward, knowing I’ll face the question again, but knowing the choice is mine to make.
I think I understand how you felt standing there feeling that weariness come upon you. I strive for being “OK” with whichever choice I make at a given time and not allowing that tired feeling to overwhelm me.
Thanks again for sharing with us.
Sean, yes, I think “being ok” with what you’ve chosen is key. When we fall away from time to time- and who doesn’t- that’s okay. Just start again.
Thanks for the message.
Start again, you can do it! Peace Jaz
Jaz, I know these are tough times over there too. So I especially appreciate your words of encouragement.
Tom, you are so more than welcome my friend….”Over here” is looking pretty grassy right about now, care to join me? Peace Jaz
I know that weariness too…
Knowing what this feels like, I believe, is a sign of a struggle to live an authentic life. A struggle as worthy as it is tough.