“I just don’t care anymore…about anything” my friend told me. She stared past my shoulder and out the window of the local coffee shop we were sitting in. She couldn’t look me in the eye.
The drama of life—trials, disputes, hurdles, demands, disappointments, failures, stress—had become too much for her to handle. After months and months of rainy days, she was drowning in a sea of apathy. If she didn’t feel, then no matter what happened she couldn’t be hurt beyond the pain she’d already experienced.
I can relate. In fact, I think we all can. Sometimes it’s easier to just be numb.
Life is a battlefield. And the deeper we dive into this battlefield, the more bandages, bruises and scars we receive. This is part of what it means to be human.
But then there are times when the punches don’t stop coming. A bad diagnosis. A car accident. An affair. A divided, broken family. An unexpected loss. Fallouts. Pink slips. Economic and political turmoil. A destroyed relationship. A financial set back.
One by one, the strain of stressful or unfortunate events eats away at our joy. If we let them, our struggles will overwhelm us, turn our hearts to stone and suffocate the life out of us. When this happens, we become like my friend; we stop caring. We walk around with a permanent fence around our hearts. We start to think everything and everyone is out to get us. We let negativity drive out optimism. We give up the fight.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can fight back with patience, humility, love, peace, joy, grace, truth, prayer, counseling, etc. We’ll probably still get a little beat up along the way, but we will be stronger because we chose to to feel alive instead of numb/drown out the chaos.
We were made to feel (note the adrenaline rush activity in the above photo). Our feelings amplify our experiences by giving them meaning, which helps us make sense of our world. Numbing ourselves to the pain isn’t the solution to any of our problems. We can’t let apathy drown out our spirit; we must refuse to become senseless and cling to the hope Christ has given us in Him.