We all have those days where we feel as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders. On these days, you probably feel every responsibility, every task, every relationship… everything and everyone. Life starts to feel like a game where you are just trying to keep each plate spinning and hoping nobody or nothing crashes. So what do you do when you are feeling this way? How do you help someone else who is feeling exhausted by the grind of life?
Before I unpack an important thought on this topic, I think it’s important for us to consider how we arrive at a point like this. Any person who finds themselves trying to manage a game of plate spinning is playing this game because they’ve said “I Can” too many times (but with good intentions of course). We all think “We Can,” so we say “Yes” over and over and over. Perhaps we even say “I Can” because someone else said to us “You Can” (again with good intentions)… They said “You Can” take on one more responsibility, relationship, or commitment.
For all of those times you’ve told yourself “I Can” or someone else has told you “You Can,” I want to be the person to tell you… “YOU CAN’T”… I’m not trying to be demeaning or attack your identity, but the reality is “YOU CAN’T” do it all, and that’s not a bad thing to admit! Actually, this should be freeing for you. These two words, if you’ll receive them, can help set you on a path toward living freed up and empowered. In the moments where you honestly admit that “YOU CAN’T” you will gain permission to begin saying NO.
Look, we all want to be the best we can be, but you can’t be the best version of you if nothing or nobody gets your best! (Ignore the triple negatives, ha ha)
Jesus modeled this for us so well. Throughout the gospels, we see that He let His identity and calling determine what He did and didn’t do. Check out these examples HERE. Jesus made it known that He was laser-focused on His purpose. He could’ve tried to spend hours and hours with hundreds of people spreading Himself extremely thin. Yes, Jesus was around the crowds and masses of people, but we see that He chose to ultimately spend more time with fewer people who could help Him in His mission. In the end, the results were far greater because even Jesus knew that in His flesh, He COULDN’T DO IT ALL!
So, in closing, what is it that you need to admit “I CAN’T?” Maybe you need to embrace one of these statements below, and then allow yourself to maximize a few opportunities rather than only giving half, 1/4, or 1/8 of yourself to many things or relationships.
I can’t keep taking extra shifts at work!
I can’t keep volunteering for every opportunity that comes my way!
I can’t continue ignoring the disconnect in my relationship with…
I can’t listen to everyone else tell me what I need to be doing!
I can’t try harder or do more until I get some rest and refreshment!
I can’t keep being there for all these people who only want more and more from me!
In a culture where we are told “You Can” and even “You Must,” I want you to let God lead you into an area of your life where you have permission to say “I CAN’T.” Then, continue to bring this transition before God, submit it to Him in prayer, and as He starts to work in you, ask Him to bring greater clarity to the areas where you need to say “I CAN” with everything you have!