Fatigue! That feeling you get when you can’t manage to stand in the middle of your swirling hurricane of; family, kids, partners, work, life, social media, lack of sleep, lack of intimacy, unemployment, taxes, illness, death! Life is MESSY and as they say; never wish you lived in “interesting times” because that hurricane may turn into a tornado with sharks in it [ok so thats ridiculous but come on Sharknado makes you laugh].

Being spiritual is hard. The fact is finding time to do it is one problem, but also finding the way to do it is the other. This is not just about reading. Developing a spiritual life requires time, patience and determination. You have to want to do it and believe that its possible before even deciding to actively participate in a spiritual path.

For me, as much as I discourage myself from speaking publicly about my view because I have received such ugly hatred about it. But, here it is. I believe in the gods as ‘literal’. I think they are physically there in my life. So, for me my spiritual life is complicated and requires a great deal of my time. That is not easy for me to find, and sometimes I feel loneliness and isolation because of times when my spiritual life doesn’t make me feel like the gods are there. The “quiet moments” are sometimes the moments when spiritual progress reaches a place of uncertainty and sometimes its needed respite.

I believe my own fatigue because I feel not engaged enough in my spiritual progress because my life gets in the way, but that’s me and I don’t say this to get sympathy. One of the other things that causes fatigue for me is dealing with social media. I know its hard for others to deal with as well. I think one of the issues that causes fatigue on social media is dealing with battles and ‘online arguments’ because we infer the tone of text, even though this is sometimes incorrect. Sometimes the arguments are legitimate because people don’t know how to let things go and how to just agree to disagree.

The phrase “everyone heathens differently” is true even though sometimes its a phrase you want to throw in the wood chipper because it can be ‘used’ to promote stupid ideas and just plain wrong things. I don’t mean you can’t have a personal view or a personal believe, but no one can prove a ‘belief’ as fact. What you belief isn’t a defense. Facts on the other hand are open to discussion and can be debated. Beliefs are somewhat tricky.

If your belief is based on fact, then its more cement-able. So,  if you say for example, that “I believe Odin has two ravens” and your belief is provable by fact [the lore, saga, eddas, history, mythological sources] back up your belief then it founded: “construct or base (a principle or other abstract thing) according to a particular principle or grounds”. If your belief however is that Odin has two cats named Bill, and you have zero evidence of this then your belief is unfounded [having no foundation or basis in fact].

The issue is because heathens are sometimes contentious with each other when you question someones statements means you question them. This is not always the case. To be fair sometimes we are questioning you, because something you said rings an alarm and so we seek out to determine if you are speaking metaphorically?, symbolically?, with sarcasm?, with sincerity?, what are you trying to convey??

Sometimes we can’t tell. Its almost impossible to read ‘tone’ and so a new type of fatigue takes us over. The fatigue of dealing with the constant feeling that you are arguing with everyone over a gold dress. That’s what it feels like. Discount that all you want, but its the truth.

So how do we avoid feeling this level of frustration and fatigue outside of smashing all devices and living in a cave? LEARN HOW TO DISENGAGE! LEARN HOW TO NOT REACT!

I don’t mean that harshly, I have issues with both of these and have to resist the urge to fight and battle with everyone on the internet. The question is: do these people really have the control to affect your life?, the answer is: NO, they don’t.

A second point to this though is stop being an asshole. RESIST THE URGE TO COMMENT!!!! I know its sounds so easy…but its really really hard to not comment, but you can’t always. It is impossible to comment on everything that bugs you and if you did, you wouldn’t sleep. Consuming yourself with online commenting is not healthy and so curbing yourself is a good idea.

I had to do this myself, so I don’t ever sit here and write without knowing my own issues, weaknesses and faults. Yeah, I have been an asshole online, thats a fact. I had to get myself to a place where I could be less so. For me it was:

Read the post
Think about it
Don’t react immediately
Wait to see how others react
If you see lots of arguments back and forth make a choice to engage
Sometimes disengage, unfollow and walk away.

Do what works for you, but please please read what a group is about before you join, learn who is on there, look at their profiles before you just join a million groups because I highly doubt you realize how many times you are chum in the water for these groups.

DON’T think you know everything, and be an ADULT! Don’t act like a petulant child because that’s not going to win. Do you like dealing with toddlers? No? Then don’t be one. Take each conversation as not a podium for which to argue your platform but take each one as an honest engagement of people.

For those suffering from fatigue, your not alone!! Take comfort in the fact that all of us go through it, all of us have cases of burn-out. Remember to take breaks, get yourself to a place you can breathe! Fatigue can lead to eroding our life to the point that a physical departure from our community is often the result. Its important that all of us work to make a community that treats each other respectfully despite our differences and know that none of us think we know it all, but we want to make sure that our communication with each other allows for full listening and building a local close nit community worldwide.

We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. THICH NHAT HANH, Peace is Every Step

Larisa Hunter, AAA Treasurer