We are all at times in our lives met with a sense of weariness which goes beyond what we might experience as the normal effects of physical or mental taxation. This particular feeling can best be described as weariness of the soul - a period in which we may feel as though all of our resources, even our deepest reserves, have been spent.
Such times are bleak; in psychological terms, the best analogy is a deep depression. We may feel that we're alone, unsupported, and unprepared to do what needs to be done (if we can even figure out what needs to be done.) We may second guess... well, everything.
St. John of the Cross referred to such periods as the "dark night of the soul," and however familiar we may be with the concept,
nothing matches the reality of going in to that night.
Growth - whether physical, psychological, or spiritual - has its own cycles, and as much as we might like to be privy to their patterns, ultimately we can only be subject to those rhythms. It is inherently uncomfortable. For new patterns to emerge the old ones must die, and to have reached the dark night indicates the completion of an enormous cycle. Once we make it through, so much more will be waiting on the other side : to borrow an analogy from biology - before a cell reproduces, it must enter a period of dormancy while its energy reserves are built toward its coming act of creation.
Never yield to weariness. When the world's cares and distractions intrude we will feel as though our very spirit has become weak. This is so far from the truth - it may feel as though the light has left us but there still, a pinprick in the darkness, it's merely rebuilding its reserves. Carry on, and soon strength returns.
God's spirit is always with us, ready to replenish and renew. Help is never sought in vain, and during these periods of weariness and exhaustion, we must rest and commune with our higher power. When overcome by temporary conditions which cannot be controlled, just take the time to look inward, learn to trust, and become comfortable in stillness. As we wait, the power of spirit flows back.
Truly, we are never alone.
The work of a gynaecologist who treats rape victims who have been subjected to sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the focus of a film which has just been released. "The Man Who Mends Women", tells the story of Dr Denis Mukwege.
Although women are outpacing men in achieving higher levels of education, they are still more likely to pursue the humanities as opposed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That's according to the World's Women 2015, a UN report which looks at how women worldwide are faring in eight critical areas such as health, education, work, power and decision-making, and poverty.
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