“Will you ever be all the way back to your old self?” I am regularly asked that question. The answer is “no”. My counter-question is always “Would you really want that?”. The answer to which is invariable “no”.
I start by sharing the things that still bother me. Fortunately, I can always add a positive side to this.
My memory is like a sieve. Look up an address to enter in the GPS and have forgotten the street name and/or house number for 2 minutes. These kinds of things are more the rule than the exception. My short-term memory has become much more volatile. It invites me to really be present in the now and to pay conscious attention to everything I do. Alias to live mindfully.
In addition, I once read somewhere that you forget the unimportant things so that there is room to remember what is really important. I can attest to that. For example, the insights I get from inspiring books to stay with me.
Many people find out during or after their burnout that they are highly sensitive. That was also the case with me. Still, it’s a term you’ll rarely hear me use. I don’t see it as something that bothers me either. To be honest, I actually think it makes sense.
Before my burnout, I went through life sleeping for years, covering everything around me with a damping veil. I lived in a haze of dense fog. Since my burnout, I have been awake to the true reality of life. As a result, the veil has disappeared and the fog has cleared. It is therefore inevitable that everything is now coming in much more!
Increasing awareness is accompanied by increased sensitivity. After all, you realize that you are part of the whole, that you are connected to everything. This makes you more easily affected by the suffering of others, animals, and nature. What drives action and change.
I have to keep guarding my boundaries well. In the past I simply didn’t feel my limits, so I actually crossed them all the time. By learning to listen to my body and above all, by getting to know myself very well, I now feel them much faster. A few nights of not sleeping well or going through a stressful period and I have to put the brakes on right away. It invites me to self-care and to prioritize my own needs, including within my entrepreneurship.
Undoubtedly, this has to do with my burnout, which has severely damaged my energy reserves. But in the meantime, I have also become 5 years older. We can’t put everything on burnout, can we
The main focus for me continues to be keeping an eye on my patterns. The patterns that caused me to end up in a work-related burnout 5 years ago were the same patterns that made me (almost) end up in a relational burnout last year. That was a serious eye-opener.
People who are prone to burnout are therefore very loyal and dedicated, if they go for something, they go for it for the full 200%. In addition, they have a tendency to please, so they often put the needs of the other ahead of their own. They have a great sense of responsibility and set high standards for themselves. These are qualities that you cannot unlearn in one, two, or three. Especially because it feels very natural to be that way.
The core message of burnout
For this I would like to share a piece from the book Ode to the Earth, an ode to you’ by Pamela Kribbe:
‘Every person naturally has a desire to bring something into the world. And that has nothing to do with social success or fame, it has to do with what satisfies you most deeply.
Creating and running a family may be your deepest satisfaction. That running a company fulfills you deeply. That working with animals or creating art offers you satisfaction and fulfillment.
Every person has something that the soul longs for. The moment you respond to this, you feel fulfilled.
The moment you enter the creative process and feel ‘Yes, this is me, this is how I shape myself, this feels good, your energy flows and your soul makes direct contact with the heart of the earth, with the heart of this reality.
That is why it is so important to find out what you really want and desire in your life, in order to make room for this creative, creative flow within yourself. In this stream, your divine heart beats.’
Thanks to burnout, many people get back in touch with their deepest desires, creative talents, and (until then) untapped potential. A process that is very much to be welcomed and, in my view, forms the basis of a new society with a spiritual economy. A process that I am very happy to contribute to.