Where did your energy go?
Have you asked yourself that question lately? Stop and think. Have you wondered where your energy went and what siphoned off your joy? Recently, I realized how profoundly the many events of 2020 left many people feeling. People look listless and tired. Sometimes, a little sad. We have virus and election PTSD.
Let’s face it. This last year has been fraught with triggers and traps, and in light of all that has transpired, people genuinely need some rest and peace. But, they also need joy, and the energy of their normal lives restored.
Some of us need respite from the talking heads, constant negative, and angry pundits, so here is our chance. Feeling better is a choice away. Let go of the angry, ugly, and demented and take a breath and let it out slowly…
With your deep peaceful breath, embrace this peaceful moment. I understand you and how stressful it all has been. Let’s think on things that are lovely and prepare our minds for a vital question.
Ready? Here it is.
How do we get our energy back?
First, some context. Our filters are the lenses through which we view the world, and they have been clouded over with angry confusing rhetoric from many sides during the last year. However, with some attention, it is in our power to wipe our lenses clean.
If you or I can’t just start afresh, it is because we were wounded by what we heard and felt. In fact, throughout our entire lives, we have been wounded by things that happened to us or that we took in in some way.
Consequently, everything comes at us through a filter of whatever wounds we suffered. Until we let them go, these chips we carry on our shoulders affect us.
The Problem: dealing with life through the lens of a wound takes energy.
Consider that everything other people say or do to us (or even for us) is run through our filters of personal beliefs, failed relationships, and old wounds.
Getting rid of the power of those hurts lifts the damper off of our psyche and relationships.
In truth, left unhealed or unchecked, those wounds siphon energy and absorb our joy.
Old wounds are the proverbial chips on our shoulders or heartaches. Remember, they are old pain, through which we view any words or actions in our view.
When we leave old hurts where they are and how they are, it is like an ever repeating cycle. Old wound produces chip on shoulder, which then allows new wound. Repeat.
All that noise is running in the background like a computer virus draining our energy.
Clearly, hurts that we leave untreated become bigger issues. Just like a leaky roof or check engine light, ignoring the present pain stemming from past pain just becomes more pain.
Our heartaches becomes self fulfilling unless we deal with the root cause of the heartache.
The Solution: Deal with the old wound and let it heal. Energy will come pouring back in.
First, to get rid of old hurts and wounds, you need to know where they came from. What are your triggers? Take a minute to consider what kinds of things set you off when they happen?
What arguments do you continue to get caught up in? Ask yourself what triggers you responding in a way others might see as overreacting? Do you get angry when you hear someone say certain things?
Examine the greatest hurts in your life.
Some of these come from problems growing up. Someone (your parents, a bully, a teacher, a stranger, a friend, family member, or co worker) did something(s) that you have carried around on your shoulder or deep in your psyche for years and it keeps coming up in relationships.
Secondly, what response comes flying out when you are triggered?
You may not even realize you are angry, or terrified. Upon examination, you may not understand what made you resentful, fearful, or bitter. But, take notice the next time you run for cover or go off on someone. That is a response to a wound. The chip on your shoulder has been triggered.
The pain may lessen over time, but when challenged or stirred up will come out in ways you can’t control.
So, whether or not the chip or wound is justified, it affects your life. You don’t have to carry it around anymore or let it make new hurts.
Something old affecting the present necessitates a solution.
For me, years ago, a hidden anger bubbled to the surface when I could no longer pray it away. I could no longer sleep it off and let it go “for now.” I was so angry deep down on the inside that it took a lot of energy to keep it in check. So, I was exhausted.
As a consequence, I had a lot of coping mechanisms and spent a lot of time in prayer, but it took rest and a counselor pointing out some things to help me let it go.
In particular, anger is one of the responses to old hurts, but I suppressed my responses to my old wounds until my body could no longer handle it. When my energy gave out, I almost had a break down.
Triggers lie in wait for the next person or event to pester the chip on your shoulder.
The problem with anger as a response to woundedness is that anger is exhausting. In fact, hidden anger may be eating your energy and draining your joy to the point of break down.
Some responses to wounds such as anger are debilitating, constantly eating away all the good things in our lives, but there is a solution.
The answer is simple, but not necessarily easy.
The answer is always forgiveness.
Your energy will return with the lifting of the weight.
Forgive them, forgive yourself.
Then, forgive life, God, your kids, your spouse, your parents. We are all just people after all. Forgive and then forgive again.
To get relief, take the power from wounds and moments that left you damaged by extending forgiveness.
Ephesians 4:31,32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.…
We are forgiven, but to live a full happy life, we have to also be forgiving. (Read about how our inner Joy is strength.)
Examine your heart for old wounds, new wounds, triggers, and things that still make you angry/scared/bitter and let them go. For instance, I was so angry over the election and accompanying chatter that I walked around with my teeth clenched. Both my husband and I have been snappy and tired. To be clear, we need an intervention, a forgiveness intervention.
Time to pray, forgive, and think on things that are lovely.
So, in this moment, take your old hurts out of your heart, hold them up to the light of day and let them go. When something surfaces, immediately crush its power by forgiveness.
There are just a few steps.
First, know what it is. If you can name it, you can get rid of it.
It needs a name. Then, say it out loud and tell it to go. Your words are powerful.
It may not be clear to you, but you have a choice to keep holding on to something and carrying its weight and ugliness, or not.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the hurt didn’t matter or that the person or situation was not wrong.
Forgiveness means allowing yourself to move forward with more joy, less depression and get beyond the hurt. Energy will return.
More life, less anger.
Finally, a wonderful reason to extend forgiveness is to keep from hindering your own prayer life. If you have an unanswered prayer, forgiveness is a good start.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand to pray, if you hold anything against another, forgive it, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your trespasses as well.” …
Fight for your life by letting go of anger.
Barefoot and letting go of anger,
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)