You've Been Strong Enough for Long Enough
You're so tired... and not in the way that a nap would fix. It's more than that. It's a lot. It's too much. If you get one more email, have one more problem, receive one more request for your help... you're going to crack!
Listen in today as Tina talks about our breaking point - the point where we can't handle one more thing. Tina discusses why it feels terrible to need extra care and support in a place where we think it is normal for others to need extra care and support. She also shares how our breaking point can actually be the place of breakthrough. Find out how!
If you feel like you've had to be strong enough for long enough, this episode is for you!
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Let me see if I’ve got this right:
You’re tired. So tired. And if you go to bed early tonight and get a good night’s sleep, tomorrow you are going to wake up feeling tired again. Or maybe we should say, “tired still” because this doesn’t seem to let up.
And it’s not letting up because life is not letting up. There is so much going on. There is so much that you have to deal with. If it was just that one thing, you’ be able to push through and manage it. In fact, you’d nail it. But it doesn’t seem to be the case with what’s going on right now. Cause it’s a lot. Too much.
You’ve been strong through it all. That’s how you’re here still kicking. But the kicking is getting harder because you can’t catch your breath.
Sure, you’ve been strong. But it feels like you’ve had to be too strong, for too long.
Honestly, you’ve been strong enough for long enough. But is there another choice?
Listen, I don’t know a whole lot about a whole lot. But I was looking up different things the other day when it comes to strength and stress and breaking or cracking I came across something called PSI.
PSI refers to a materials ability to withstand pressure and it’s measured per square inch. Not totally important to the Life’s Seasons Speaks podcast, not being about concrete and all, but I like visuals for understanding. So I appreciated the fact that there is something I could relate to when I looked at the fact that you could measure a slab of concrete’s ability to endure so much weight and pressure on it before it cracks and breaks. Depending on the specific materials and mixing, there will be a breaking point.
And I don’t know about you, but I think I have my own PSI. I think that there is a point in which I could break. I think we all have a PSI, a breaking point.
And I know we do, because no matter how strong we are, we will need to sleep. No matter how strong we are, we will need to eat and re-fuel. No matter how strong we are… we will need to stop being so strong some days and tell someone that we need some extra support.
And we think that’s our breaking point. But that is what keeps us from our breaking point. That is where the pressure (per square inch if you will) is alleviated because the load is shared now, the weight is spread out, and the ability to withstand is greater.
If you don’t know anything about what I’m talking about today, then consider yourself blessed. I am extremely happy for you if you’ve never been close to your breaking point. But my warning is this.
It’s not over. It could still be coming.
I don’t say that to be cruel. I don’t say that to put fear in you.
I say that because life is full of hardships and no one gets to go through life without facing some along the way.
But for those of you who are feeling what I’m saying today. Ya, I get it.
You’ve been strong all your life, it seems. Hardships came early and they just keep coming.
And anytime you’ve had to fight all your life, to be strong all your life, to be resilient all your life, I don’t care HOW STRONG you are, eventually your PSI is going to be put to the test, and you’re going to find yourself at your breaking point.
I don’t care how many victories you’ve had. Maybe life hasn’t felt all that hard, and everything you’ve ever went for, you got. You just seem to win, win, win. Something at some point is going to come along and test your PSI, and you’re going to feel like you’re at your breaking point.
There comes these days up on us when we say, “if one more thing comes along, I’m gonna lose it. One more text, one more email, one more phone call, one more request for me to be a part of anything to help, to do something, or even just listen to someone… I’m gonna lose it. I have nothing left. I’m about to snap. If one more bill collector, one more doctor’s appt, one more call from the school… I’m not going to be able to be strong enough anymore. I am tired. Too tired”.
And that’s not you becoming weak. That’s you being real. Because again… we do have a breaking point. We are not super humans. We do need to eat. We do need water. We do need rest and sleep.
But when the food doesn’t seem to nourish the mind and water doesn’t refresh the soul, and sleep doesn’t restore us again, it IS too much.
I don’t care who you are, what you’ve been through, or how strong you can be… everyone has a breaking point.
It’s not at the same point. We grieve differently, we handle stress differently, we go through struggles differently and handle our fears differently. But make no mistake, not one of us can just endure it all, all the time. We all have a limit.
Just think for a minute about your family and friends. Some will come to mind who you know have a lower threshold for pain and stress. Others seem to be stronger, and able to handle more.
Maybe you are the one who is stronger and able to handle more.
But don’t go thinking you just are stronger. You’re different. But you still have a point where the pressure per square inch will be too much and you will crack and break.
We all have a limit.
Here’s the thing with this limit though. When we get close to our limit. When we get close to knowing there is very little left that we can handle, or we’re gonna lose it, we get embarrassed. Don’t we?
We think that is the moment, not of having been strong enough long enough, but of just being weak.
We get embarrassed.
We see the differences in limits and look for the one who seems to be handle more, we compare, we fall short and see our limit then as failure.
We think of who we are in our roles and how we just CAN’T be at our limit now.
I’m the mom. I have to be stronger than this. I’m the husband, I cannot break now. I’m the boss, I can’t show any weakness. I’m the son, I can’t let my family down. I’m his sister, he needs me to be stronger than this.
In whatever role we find ourselves in, we get embarrassed for having a limit, a breaking point. We just don’t see us as having another option but to be stronger, for even longer… but we have no idea how.
It’s too much. We are just too tired. You are too tired. Not one more thing can you endure.
So, you do everything you can to stay quiet about it. To paint on the happy face, put on the happy-go-lucky outfit and do your hair in the carefree styles you wish were truth.
But inside you are screaming. Inside you are soaked with tears and rattled with fears.
Because you are tired. You are ready to snap. Your PSI needle is bouncing in the red. You have nothing left.
Ok. I see you. I hear you.
Let me tell you this though. Sometimes what we get most embarrassed about when we reach a breaking point, is that we now need what we are used to giving. And we don’t know how to handle that.
We feel shame that we need to be encouraged. We feel shamed that we need to be comforted and supported and helped and nourished and lifted up.
We understood it when someone else needed it. We didn’t see them as weak. We saw them as human and deserving and worthy.
But now here we are, and we are embarrassed that we need anything at all.
Like “need” equates to weak. But not in others. It makes sense for others.
But for us?????? Oh man. For shame. How incredibly humiliating that I would need anything I can’t do on my own, for myself.
Asking yourself, who do you think you are? Being in such need as that.
Well let me ask you…
Who do you think you are, that you don’t deserve that?
Everyone else you know is allowed to have a breaking point. They are allowed to need to be cared for and that all seems logical and ok to you, so really, who do you think you are that you wouldn’t too?
Sit in that for a moment.
This the whole point.
If you can get to the place where you realize and believe that you have a right to be too tired to keep going alone, then your breaking point is actually your break through.
Do you hear what I’m saying?
No one was created to live alone on a island, being completely self-sufficient, relying on themselves only to meet their needs.
What we require in this life, we need someone else to help us with it.
We need food. Someone needs to grow it. We need water and someone has to gather it. We need rest and someone has to provide the place and stay on watch to keep us safe while we close our eyes for a while.
We need clothes and someone has to make them. We need to buy the clothes, and someone needs to sell them.
We need money to buy them and so we need to work and someone needs what we have so we have work to do.
It all goes together. Somehow. In some way.
Doing it all alone doesn’t work. Doing it alone is too much pressure and it’s too much weight on our square inches and that pressure is what will have us cracking and breaking.
We need to share the load and distribute the weight and make our loads lighter so that we can carry what we have to, and not break.
If you are at your breaking point today, we can make this a break through moment today. The difference between breaking down and breaking through is but one thing. It’s realizing that you are at your limit and you need to share the load and spread out the weight.
It’s just knowing that you “need”. And that’s ok. You know it is because you help people in need all the time. So take your turn and let your needs be met too, by someone who doesn’t see your weakness, they actually see your strength and they know you’ve been strong enough for long enough.
Listen to me, I want you to hear my words…
I know you are strong. In fact, you are incredibly strong. What you are feeling is not weakness. It’s limit. You are strong and you’ve proven it. Man, just look back on all you’ve survived. YOU ARE STRONG. You had to be, and you were. That’s how you got here.
I’m telling you today, you have been strong enough, for long enough. I know you can survive this too. And if you had to do it alone, you could, but you don’t have to. You don’t have to break apart to be recognized as strong.
I already know you are. But you’ve had to be too strong for too long. Tell someone today that you need some extra care in your life. Tell them what you need. That is not weakness. That will be the most important thing you can do in your life, and it will take the most strength you’ve ever had to put out.
Because you may feel embarrassed. But that’s because you think you don’t deserve what everyone around you deserves when they get it from you.
But you do. You do deserve this. You deserve to be loved, supported, encouraged, lifted up, heard, and seen.
Push past what feels like weakness and just believe me – it is the strongest, bravest, best thing you will ever do for yourself. And it will give permission to those who love you and watch you, to do the very same thing when they need to.
What a gift. What a gift we can give to others who also think their need is their weakness. When they watch us, the strongest person they know, admit need, recognize limit and let someone else share their load.
I know you are strong. I’m just saying you’ve been strong enough for long enough and you don’t have to be anymore.
Let’s go from too strong for too long, to freedom. Freedom from what weighs you down. Through being honest, admitting your limits, and allowing yourself to be human.
I’m hanging up my super human cape. I’m inviting you to hang yours up too. It doesn’t fit anyways. At this point, it doesn’t feel like a cape. It feels more like a weighted blanket on my shoulders.
It’s time to say, “I’m human. I have limits. I have a PSI measurement and when I’m struggling to not break, I’m just gonna break. But not in a break down. In a breakthrough, by realizing my ultimate strength lies in letting someone help me meet my needs.”
Y’all are warriors who inspire me to be the best version of myself that I can be. It’s gonna take work. I know it. It’s also going to take strength. To endure, and to realize when it’s time for a breakthrough.
I’m praying breakthrough all over you. Today and all your days to come.
I love you my life’s seasons speaks fam.
But that’s all for today. So it’s good-bye for now, and we’ll speak again soon.