While I think it is a natural part of the grief journey, many in all stages of life suffer from motivation disorder, which is my fancy way of saying a lack of motivation. Though I’m better now than I was 15 months ago, I still find myself struggling at times to just get out of bed in the morning. I’m actually thankful that I have enough things in my life to make me keep moving on a daily basis. What helps us to keep going in this life?
Routine is a good motivation, for good or for bad. I found that having to go to work every day after my loss was a blessing in disguise. Even when I felt like I was in a fog most of the day or struggled at times with my emotions, just the movement from my house to outside was important to help me to continue in life.
Special projects are also helpful. My father moved to a new apartment, so I spent many hours going through his house and getting it ready to sell. Having that extra work on top of my regular, “routine” job, kept me going in the evenings and long weekends when I needed something to keep my mind occupied.
As a writer, I also began to work on new books and this blog, along with just journaling. The creative process helped me to get my sad thoughts out of my mind. Once I was able to articulate what I was feeling on paper or computer, I felt as if I was processing and moving forward. Some people may do this verbally, and can either talk with a friend or just record their thoughts to keep or even discard at a later date. The idea is to get what’s inside out. I know for my husband, when something was on his mind, he ran. That exercise helped him to process his thoughts and troubles. He always felt better after a run, physically and mentally. The psalmist David shows us that in pouring out our thoughts to the Lord, He gives us renewed strength and motivation to press on.
Even as I write these thoughts down, I realize something…motivation is about movement. A quick check of the root, and I’m right! The Latin root for motivation is move. When grief comes, when life gets you down, when you just feel in a slump, what gets you motivated?
God can use our work, our projects, our words to reveal that we still have purpose in this life. As my energy is renewed, I realize that what really motivates me is the Spirit moving me beyond myself, my thoughts, my feelings, my grief…to touch others, encourage others, serve others to His glory. That’s when I really get pumped up and motivated to jump out of bed, because His purposes are always greater than my own.
There are seasons for the more routine motivations that are needed for just moving us through a hard time of life, but I certainly look forward to the day when I’m serving a greater purpose and cause for motivation. It takes time, but it’s coming!
Where are you on the motivation spectrum?
Grace and Peace