July 8

Waiting to Recharge

July 8, 2011

Personal Growth

I have a Kindle, an electronic device that allows me to read a whole library of books that have been downloaded to its memory. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen is a power indicator, informing me how much of the full electric charge remains. A Kindle's battery can supply enough power to read for long periods, as much as weeks at a time, but still, I watch the indicator to give me an idea when it's time for a recharge.

Oddly, when my Kindle gets to about 60% charge, it suddenly displays a warning that I'm almost out of power and need to recharge. Then the power status depletes from 60% to 0% roughly three times as fast as it did from 100% to 60%. Once the power reserve gets below a certain level, the device empties out a lot faster than one might anticipate.

As human beings, we often experience a "power depletion" much like this. We believe we're doing pretty well, but then we encounter a difficulty, then an unkind word, then another obstacle that we have to overcome. We can feel our physical and emotional strength draining away, but we continue to engage in stressful activities, certain that we're strong enough to cope.

But then somebody says something or an additional burden is heaped upon us, and suddenly we become irritated. We can't believe that such a small thing could set us off. We fail to realize that we've been draining power for some time, and the "power indicator" has been telling us in various ways that we need to recharge.

We'd be much happier if we paid attention to the signs that our supply was getting low. There's no shame in that. We just need to recognize it, and then we can STOP and do what's necessary to regain the power we need. We might simply rest, or get away from people, or make a phone call to a loving friend. But we need to do this before the crisis hits, which means that we're out of power completely. At that point we're ill equipped to respond, and recharging can often be more difficult.

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