Need: We need to be more Holy, not Holier
The events of the New Testament take place during the Pax Romana. Latin for “Roman Peace,” this period from 27BC to 180 AD marked a time of relative peace and stability during an otherwise tumultuous reign of the Roman Empire. One of the most iconic structures commemorating the Roman Empire’s power is the Colosseum, and it’s a metaphor for burnout.
Officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum in Rome opened in 80 AD and was an epic entertainment site, including naval battle sequences and gladiator fights. During its height, the Colosseum was the symbol of Rome’s dominance and strength. But after forty years of prominence, the Colosseum fell into disrepair. Neglect, natural disasters, and other demands crumbled the former world wonder. Only one-third of the Colosseum remains today.
Like the Colosseum, we often neglect caring for ourselves, and this leads to discontent. When we are in the business of caring for others, our focus remains on others. We rationalize that the world needs us, and it does. But not at the cost of our health.
Notice the holes in the Colosseum. People took materials, including iron, from the Colosseum for different purposes like construction because of other demands. Like the Colosseum, we are often stretched too thin because of many other requests. And for caregivers, it’s often difficult to say no.
It would be best if you took responsibility to know when to say when. And this limit fluctuates depending on the amount of stress in your life, including physiological stress.
Remember, burnout is not the problem. It’s a symptom.
Have you analyzed the cause of your burnout, or are you just dealing with the symptom? There are numerous causes for burnout, but I have outlined my top five in another post HERE.
One of the most often neglected causes is a physiological issue. Your hormones affect mood, energy, metabolism, and a host of other bodily functions. And when they are out of balance, life is horrible. You feel off, unsettled, and it’s hard to imagine being at peace. If you’re feeling exhausted or lack the desire or ability to engage with others (in other words, have the symptoms of burnout), one of the causes could be your hormones. If you’re concerned, talk to your physician and get them checked.
The Colosseum is still a magnificent structure, but it’s a far cry from what it used to be. Burnout could be a symptom that you’re neglecting yourself. It could be a symptom that your hormones need adjusting. Don’t let burnout cause you to be a shell of your former self. Unless, like the Colosseum, you wanted to be holier.