People are tiring.
I love community, I love spending time with friends and family but people can be tiring.
I was chatting with a lady who works all day with marginalized communities. We were talking about compassion and she said “I just can’t do it after work too.”
I think this is a common problem. You spend alllllll day working with people and then go and volunteer with more people and by the end you’re just done with people. This isn’t’ everyone. Some people just go and go with people. But there are LOTS who have a finite amount of people time.
So they ask “how do I do relationship when I’m burned out on people after work?”
Well, compassion takes on a bunch of different faces and I think there are two major ideas to work through here.
The first is that work is not divorced from your compassionate life style. A life style encompasses all you do. Your healthy lifestyle is not only at home, neither is your compassion. You eat healthy at work and you love people at work.
For some reason people feel like work that isn’t in a church doesn’t count as compassion.
If you’re where God wants you then there is compassion to do there. There are people to love and compassion to share. There are opportunities to be generous and chances to show grace to those who just don’t deserve it.
You can live the life of compassion at work. Don’t discount all you do at work, but be there with purpose and intent. Let your story of love and redemption and grace permeate all that you do and share it organically with all the relationships you build.
The second thing worth touching on here is why I said yesterday that asking “does this lead to relationship” is good but not perfect.
Back to this lady I was talking with.
She said she was peopled out. She felt like she wanted to volunteer and serve but just not more activities like work. I asked if she had ever considered doing something that supports others building relationships?
Would you consider sitting on a Board of Directors, or maybe you could help with some administration, or you could organize activities for others to be involved in.
It was different than work but still so vital. The front line relationship of so many volunteers needs the back end support of others.
You may be peopled out but you can help others build relationships.
Now, let me be very clear. This is not an excuse to avoid relationships. This is on top of and in addition to your relationship building. This is so you don’t burn out and this allows you to continue in the relationships you have.
Relationship is a part of compassion. There is no way around it. But everyone has a different capacity for relationships and beyond that everyone has different skills. If you’ve got skills to sit on a Board of Directors, do it. Just don’t forget the relationships.
So maybe there are three questions to ask not one.
Does this lead to relationship?
Does this lead others to relationship?
Am I doing enough of both?