Surely it's obvious, you say, that you can't recover from tiredness by trying harder? Well, like the man in the cartoon, it has not been obvious to me. All my life I have been telling myself that if only I tried harder, I would be better at living. If I only tried hard enough, and directed my efforts in the right direction, I would find my groove where I would be at home and flourish. My problem, I thought, was not that I was trying too hard for my own good, but that I was lazy, or somehow flawed. I compared myself to other people who didn't seem to be so exhausted, and thought, 'what have they got that I haven't got?', and envied their superior metabolisms. By the time I went off sick from work I was sure that I was some kind of emotional cripple who would have to be content with a very curtailed kind of life in order to stay able to get out of bed.
After a long time of thinking and doing this, your body, which has been giving you all the heavy hints that it can, eventually sticks its heels in. The donkey image I used early on in my collapse was a good one.
So, how do you help the donkey that has collapsed from being overloaded one too many times? By giving it stricter rules about what to do every day? Perfecting its daily timetable to help it have energy when it most needs energy? Setting up a system of rewards for carrying heavier and heavier loads?
Not really. Those are the things that got it so tired in the first place.
What this donkey needs is a rest, some good moist grass, a bit of stroking. It's obvious. It needs to stop DOING things. So it can remember what it is like to just BE.
And what about that bit of the image that I ignored the first time I posted it - the cruelty of the driver who beat it when it faltered? I had been thinking of the driver being out there, over there, another country, another culture, another gender, another whatever it takes for them to be different from me.
But from this perspective, I am my own driver. I have been ignoring my own pleas for rest and comfort. I have been the cause of my own pain.
The question of how you get that way, and how I learn how to be, not just do, comes in other posts. Because I am tired and need a break. Hehehe.