(By guest author Louise)
It came upon me unexpectedly. Well, not wholly unexpectedly.
I found myself in burnout. A combination of mental and physical exhaustion built up over five and half months.
The foremost feeling was one of losing myself. I felt lost and confused. In a mist, I had lost track of who I was; not centred and unlike my usual self.
The last time I felt like this was around five years ago when a friend passed away. I had hidden my pain from that in the immediate period and it did not do me any good.
Again, during this burnout, I had kept my feelings deep inside, fearful of rocking anyone else’s boat around me. I could see who was struggling around me, and my priority had been to keep them afloat. To keep the ship a-sail, moving, and with happy sailors.
But your feelings creep up on you. If you don’t address your needs at the time, and make them front and centre, they will continue to remind you, physically or mentally, of their existence.
Talking with someone helped me resurface my needs; reminding me of what they were, how and when they needed to be met, and how I needed to continue to evolve my leadership.
I realised that I could hold the pain of those I lead in my hands, without fully absorbing it, allowing me to better support them – using my rational thinking, strategic side to tackle the issues.
This talking and reflection also helped me see that whilst sometimes it may not feel like it serenity is always there. Serenity is in the control of our own decisions, helping us hold all opportunity facing us in our hands.
We cannot control what happens to us, but we can have the wisdom to decide how to tackle it.
And behaving in the best way possible, with peaceful and kind hearts is defining in itself. Indeed, the ways are more important than the ends.
This serene leadership is in my heart forever.
Notes from the Therapy Journey is a dedicated rubric in my blog where people I work with can share thoughts and insights about their experience of therapy and beyond.
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