When it comes to assertion, people today have no problem standing up for their physical boundaries (especially during these days of social distancing).
However, more and more people are coming for Christian Counselling to deal with issues that are connected to feeling down and angry, stressed and fatigued for no apparent reason.
I start off by asking this question:
Each of us are given 24 hours in a day.” Where did yours go? Was your time spent for yourself or for others?” More often than not, these stressed out people cannot give an account to what happened to their own time. That’s because without them knowing, someone or something has snatched it away from them. And they don’t even know that this is a violation of what is theirs.
Ask yourself, what could you do with an hour of your time? I’m telling you all I need is 45 minutes in the morning to wake up, stretch my shrinking muscles, shower, play with my daughter, set up my computer game, and chat with my wife; then until I leave for work. An additional 15 minutes will do me wonders. Now, I am not here to push you guys for efficiency and achievement (that would actually be hypocritical of me). You can spend that extra hour of your day sleeping or just playing mobile games as long as it is YOUR DECISION on how to spend YOUR TIME.
If you feel that you haven’t been yourself lately it’s simply because you haven’t been spending time with yourself. You were giving away your time and therefore you’ve been losing your thoughts and attention to others.
You either sold your time for money (like me) or worse, your time and thoughts were taken from you without you knowing (like being with an overbearing friend, or a controlling colleague?). This way, the time you ought to have with yourself and for yourself was given away to others.
You gave up your identity to please someone else. You are doing things you don’t like, things that you even hate, things you could care less about, things you don’t agree with, and all these contribute nothing to your life visions and dreams. My friends in Singapore, who autopilot in their jobs for the sake of having a job, all feel this.
So, when was the last time you exercised your free will? Your control over what to do with your time? Or have you always been the slave of your calendar app?
When was the last time you can say that you were truly a free person who acted in your own volition and were not limited by the daily schedule handed to you by society? Can you still consider yourself an agency of free will then?
Stress and burn out is about how you spend your time and for who. An the end of the week, we ask ourselves: is my life truly moving forward? Is my life truly mine?
When you feel that there is something wrong and you cannot point it out; a feeling that your entire day is once again gone and that you are already tired, I would advice you to reframe your questions this way:
“What have you done for your yourself today?” (or were you just doing things for everyone?)
“Have you spent time with yourself today?” (or were you auto-piloting and just following others around?)
“What would I want to do for myself?” (and what do I have to let go in order to accomplish this)
What you need is to get back the control over yourself as an agency of free will. Take back the energy, the thoughts, and the time and use it for yourself. Do not be condemned, it is the taking from others that makes one greedy and selfish; this time you are finally doing things for yourself using your own resources. Private moments are golden and with these new social distancing measures from the COVID-19 threats, make sure you take advantage of these alone times.