By making ourselves vulnerable to the lives of others, we also open ourselves to burnout—a word used almost interchangeably with the words stress and exhaustion.
Overextending ourselves can cause us to become overstressed. Being overstressed can also lead to anxiety. When we become “burned out,” we tend to become distant and less engaged. We might feel helpless, lack motivation, and lose our sense of purpose. While stress leads to anxiety, burnout often leads to depression.
Yet the greatest help for our overwhelming stress or complete burnout often comes from being part of a community. During those times when the light seems dim, we can also turn to others who can listen to or sit with us in the darkness. The best way to rekindle that light is to stay close to God and each other.
We long for community—a place where we receive and bring the light of God.
The message is an excerpt from “Darkness is your candle” by Violet Cucciniello Little in the April 2020 issue of Gather magazine. Today is the eighth Sunday after Pentecost.