What Exhausts a Person Most?

A reflection by Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich), Metropolitan of Boryspil and Brovary, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Chronic fatigue, apathy, depression are the signs of our time. They existed before as well, but there was no technical opportunity to talk about it to the whole world. Although the range of this manifestation today, in my opinion, is much larger and more distressing.

What is the reason? What makes a person so tired?

The answer is ourselves, our complexity. The fast rhythm of one’s life does not allow one to really come to one’s senses, harmonize one’s state of mind, and deal with oneself. Our ancestors had much more time for this. Modern people do not have time to think sometimes. The information flow and the rhythm of life take all of one’s time and energy, and do not give an opportunity to improve oneself. Indeed, any room will turn into a dump sooner or later, if you do not clear the trash, and you will already be unable to clear this dump by yourself.

The same happens with our soul. We do not solve our spiritual problems, but ignore them, hoping that they will somehow be solved by themselves. We do not simplify the complexity of our nature, do not ease it, do not lighten it with the Gospel’s light and its colors, but follow the old habits, passions, and character traits. Actually, we only increase the burden of our problems and complicate our temper. With this approach, each new day only aggravates our mental, spiritual and physical condition, and thus, we become unbearable for ourselves. We are catastrophically tired of ourselves.

The reason for any depression is the inability to live with oneself. Most psychologists suggest looking for reasons not in oneself, but in the environment and circumstances. However, this is the wrong approach. Until we begin to clear our souls from long-term piles of untruths, difficulties, and complications, we will not go out into the light, but will continue to be in the darkness.

Certainly, we need incredible courage and honesty in order to admit our own guilt in the neglected and sorrowful state, in which we find ourselves, without blaming anyone else.

First of all, you should change your attitude towards yourself, from complex to simple. Do not pay attention to your grievances: they are a sure indicator of pride and conceit. While a person is offended, he does not let good into his heart, and it becomes corroded by anger. We should not demand special treatment and attention to ourselves, because we do not deserve what we have. The feeling of underestimation is destructive and leads to apostasy from God. We should not take ourselves seriously, nor consider ourselves better than the others. Without God’s mercy we are nothing.

If you change your attitude towards yourself every day, all problems will gradually disappear, difficulties will be resolved and you will have peace with yourself, which means you will have peace with God.

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