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The wisdom of burn-out by Jeff FOSTER

We all need to become exhausted, burnt out, frazzled and depressed at some point in our lives. All of us. Some get stuck there, of course. Others push through into new life. It’s somewhat of a mystery, what helps people push through into the glory and into their wildness. The false self needs to burn out. It is not real. Our inauthenticity needs to die: Saying no when we mean yes and yes when we mean no. Stuffing down our rage to appear polite. Squashing down our despair to seem “up”. Repressing our sexuality, our true longings, our authentic desires. Pretending to know when we don’t, or pretending to not know when we really do. Suppressing the wisdom and intuition and knowing in our guts. Pretending to be spiritual, nice, kind, tolerant, strong, when really, fear and loathing boil underneath. Trying to avoid disappointing the ones we love. It all has to “die”… so that we may live! Our wildness will save us. Our rage, our terror, our explosive despair will make us whole, if we could only digest these misunderstood energies. The more we suppress such infinite creativities, the more exhausted we become and the more we want to break apart. The danger is, we assume that there is something “wrong” with us for feeling so “negative”; we see these energies as some kind of failing or weakness of ours, and we further shame our shame, de-press our depression, turn away from these infinitely intelligent signals, these CALLS FOR NEW LIFE. Yes, in our innocence, we push away the very thing that is trying to save us! We medicate away our feelings, try to numb ourselves even further. We try to “keep going”. We try to “relax”. Or we wallow and indulge in our feelings, creating a new identity of “victim”. There is a middle way, friends. Breaking open to the truth of our lives is terrifying. But necessary. Sometimes we need to burn out first, be brought to our knees first, fall into utter despair and helplessness, travel into the underworld of ourselves, and tell the awful truth of “me”. We need to speak our raw truth and risk alienating everyone around us. We need to be willing to confront our deepest loneliness. We need to take the risk of joy. Follow our heart’s call. Take small steps towards the things that scare the shit out of us. We need to let ourselves break down and even “die”…. to who we took ourselves to be, to the lies, to the inauthentic self, to the old way. –

Jeff Foster

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