Coming up Empty

As I attempt to write a blog this morning, I am finding myself loose-ended. Seeking answers and direction in my life right now, I keep coming up empty or helpless and thus with nothing worthwhile to say.

This morning I read a piece in Parker Palmer’s book, Let Your Life Speak, in which he talks about burnout. “Burnout,” he says, “results from trying to give what I do not possess – the ultimate in giving too little. Burnout is a state of emptiness, to be sure, but it does not result from giving all I have: it merely reveals the nothingness from which I was trying to give in the first place.” He quotes a small piece from a poem:

As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root…
(“Now I Become Myself” by May Sarton)

I think that Sarton is saying that whenever we try to give anything that is contrary to our nature, we can expect to be depleted. But when our giving comes from a place truth within (from our root), we are renewed even as we give.

The word codependency comes to mind as I read this. Others depending on me for their serenity when I don’t have an ounce of the stuff inside me. Or me seeking happiness from others when I need to learn to find it within myself. At the moment, it seems everyone is coming up empty.