feeling resentful? step back.

Some of us here are overfunctioners.

This means that we tend to do more than our fair share.

Of everything.

Household chores, emotional work, the burdens of the world.

We care about everydamnthing, so we just pick up the load and carry it.

Everybody loves us, because we make it all A-Okay for them.

Triumphant female, Budapest.  Photo: Andy Bruner

Triumphant female, Budapest.  Photo: Andy Bruner

Sometimes that's okay for us, too.

Hey, I'm a clean-surfaces person, and it bugs me to have cups on the kitchen counter, so I put them in the dishwasher. 

Most of the time it's no big deal.


When I feel myself getting resentful of anything and everything, I've learned that it's time to take a step back.

I used to push forward and do more in situations like that. 

Clearly the problem was that nobody else was doing enough, so I had to keep doing it all, poor pitiful Christian martyr that I was.

The problem with overfunctioning is this: the more I overfunction, the more I overfunction.

The demands never stop. 

Everybody's always hungry, victims are always needy, the orange man never stops tweeting.

And as long as I keep running on the gerbil wheel, it's going to keep turning and I'll have to keep running.

But what I've learned is this: I can stop.

I can rest.

When I'm feeling overwhelmed, overworked, resentful, used, and depleted, I can step back.

And the world has never once stopped turning.

I've tried it, and I promise you that it's true.

So here we are, the day before Thanksgiving, right before the holiday insanity strikes, my overfunctioning friends.

I want to invite you to step back whenever you need to in these days ahead.

When it's just too much, when everything's going to fall apart if you don't doallthethings, do the one radical and insane thing that's never, ever crossed your mind to do:

Step back.

Find rest for your soul.

I'll leave the cups on my kitchen counter, and you can leave yours.

We'll sit down instead.

We'll breathe.

We'll let things be.

We'll receive as well as give.

We'll accept ourselves for who we are: human, limited, in need.

We'll release our need to be the hero, the martyr, the saint.

We'll just be and let be.

Print Friendly and PDF