These two regal gentlemen were strutting around in the parking lot behind our condo last week. Their lady friends were focused and hard at work in the woods, foraging for food, and looking for the best place to call home for their impending gang. I guess we should cut these toms some slack and realize that they are protecting their better halves, but it sure looks like the females bear the brunt of the work.
Funny how nature mirrors life.
I was listening to a podcast a couple days ago called We Can do Hard Things with author Glennon Doyle and her sister, Amanda. They were addressing the emotional burn out that many are experiencing due to the pandemic and other worldly catastrophes that we are witness to because of the global reach that our modern technology affords us.
In the podcast they said that we were only made to handle the stress in our own worlds, not the stress of the whole world. There is enough stress as a result of life’s challenges in our families, workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods, our villages so to speak. We weren’t wired to take on the stresses of the whole world.
But that is exactly what we do. And women tend to do it more than men. Studies have shown that women are suffering from emotional burn out at a much higher rate than men.
They cited a theory in Kate Manne’s book, Down Girl, that posits what is called the Human Giver Theory. It is based on the assumption that humanity is divided into Human Givers and Human Be-ers. Human Givers feel it is their responsibility to make sure the Human Be-ers needs are met. Human Givers see that role as their moral obligation.
Women tend to be Human Givers. The caregiving role often falls to us women. We see it as our moral obligation, especially as we grow in our discipleship and our desire to really be God’s hands, feet, and heart in this world that is hurting everywhere you turn.
When we feel it is our moral obligation to give, give, give and not receive, it’s no wonder we become emotionally exhausted. We can become exhausted from caring too much for too long.
But are we really called to care SO much for SO many for SO long? Could our caring be out of whack? Maybe we need to listen more carefully to God’s whispers of just where we are being called to care. What is ours and what isn’t?
We are called to be Godlike, but not to be God.
Take your cue from the toms in the parking lot. Stop giving, giving, giving and just receive God’s gift of rest. Gobble it up.