Jack of Many Trades

Firebird and Burnout

Originally posted: 2012-02-20

I declare I don't care no more I'm burning up and out and growing bored

I'm very, very tired. This new job is a lot of work; I've had overtime every week so far. I was sick, and now I'm quite sure my asthma's flaring up. I'm blogging here at least semi-regularly, and  I'm trying to keep doing the work that I'm writing about. I've got reading to do. I've got writing to do. I feel overwhelmed.

I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, though. I've come to believe that burning out is actually an important step in on the firebird's path.

In almost every tradition, the journey to the higher self includes a moment like it - it's often called the Dark Night of the Soul in Western mysticism, after the writing of St. John of the Cross. It's the moment where everything feels empty and meaningless, nothing feels like it's working, and you wonder why you ever bothered in the first place.

The firebird works without as much as sie works within: between the catalytic energy surrounding me, the temptation to take interpretation too far, and the feeling like I have to have the perfect nest and I have to have it now, well, it's easy to burn myself out.

That's an important lesson, to know where your limits are. Until you push yourself as far as you can go, you don't know how far that is. If you're afraid to push to your limits, you'll never push past them.

And sometimes instead of pushing past, you crash and burn. That's okay too. It happens.

When you fall apart, you get to look at all the pieces as you're picking them up. It's a wonderful opportunity to decide which puzzle pieces really fit and which belong to someone else's puzzle entirely.

And once you've gathered your pieces up, you can start to put them back together.