BOUNDARIES

By Fr Jim Cogley



About seven years ago I went through a very difficult period that felt like a dark night of the soul. I use that term for want of something better because there are no words to express the hell that is mental anguish and the desolation of feeling like a lost soul. Burnout could be another label that I might use because it felt like being gutted from the inside out and being left with just the shell of my former self. During that time it became necessary to cancel all talks, seminars and counseling work. Even to say Mass became impossible and every day and every hour was a nightmare. When I think of what causes burnout my own experience begins to make sense. It is where we forget to be human and get so caught up in meeting others needs and agendas that we neglect our own. The Poet Rumi said ‘when you give to others, make sure you do so from the overflow of your barrel, and not from the dregs at the bottom.’