Somewhere between shame and fear is this place where unfamiliar steps seem impossible to take. It’s not that they’re difficult to understand. They’re uncomfortable, and so we go looking for softer, gentler ways to get what we need.
Burnout is generally understood as doing too much for too long. I’ve come to see that it’s never what I do that burns me out. It’s what I don’t do: self-care, coping, letting go, fulfilling responsibilities to myself, relaxation, fun, and most of all, seeking reciprocity in my relationships.
As cliched as the inner child concept is, it’s incredibly useful. It’s what Freud called our “id” – the part of us that feels, wants, and needs. Freud said that every decision and action we make is a result of conflict between our Id and our Superego.
We don’t “find” ourselves. We don’t wake up one day with a giant epiphany about who we are and what our purpose(s) are. What it’s really about is accepting the responsibility of developing an identity.