Back up to 100%: Tips for Recharging Your Spirit
Like the nuclear reactor in a power plant, the spirit encased within your being is the very essence of who you are. It’s the crucial core that will heat your passion through hardship and fuel your endurance in the dismal times, or melt your fervor and annihilate your joy. It’s for good reason that Proverbs 18:14 says, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”
I often find myself wounded in spirit, sometimes inflicted by the harshness of the world, but mostly self-inflicted by my insecurity. There are weeks when I’ve starved my spirit of so much confidence and grace that it lies emaciated in the morning, unable to rise and follow my body through the day. Monotony of the grind has drained me of my vision. The Facebook comparison game has sapped me of my joy. The news has robbed me of my peace. And little by little I feel myself fading like a cell phone at 1%.
You’ve probably seen those days too. But whether you’ve been wounded by life, people, or yourself, here are a few ways to recharge your spirit.
Remind yourself that good days will come again.
Take encouragement from the psalmist who said, “Joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). It’s not God’s desire for us to be down; however, while we’re there, He sometimes teaches us something—hope, praise, and even joy in knowing that He is in control and that though our circumstances have changed He will not. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.” And it just might be a better one.
Inspiration has a diverse meaning. From the Latin word inspiratus (“to breathe into”), the first meaning referred to “a divine influence upon a person.” Not until later was it used to mean “to draw air into the lungs.” Later still it took on the meaning of someone or something that inspires creatively. Look for ways to revive your spirit by inspiring it in these three ways.
Let the divine Father inspire your spirit.
The spirit of God Himself prays for us (Romans 8:26–27) and, through His Word, breathes truth, encouragement, and comfort into us (John 14:16; Psalms 27:14). But you’ve got to be listening to His Word in Scripture and to His Spirit through prayer.
Even if the last thing you want to do is change out of your pajamas, be sure to exercise, explore new places, and spend plenty of time in the sun and fresh air. The health benefits of these simple practices are almost miraculous, and distraction often helps us see the big, hopeful picture past our cramped prison of despair.
Find others who will inspire you.
My best friend, Laura, is my go-to medic to perform CPR on my spirit. When I hand her my DNR request, she rips it up and goes to pumping on my heart, speaking truth about my discouraging thoughts: I have nothing to write. I feel like giving up. I’m not good enough. With scripture, compassion, or a slap across the head, she pulls me out of a comatose state. Find people who will do the same for you.
Get the groceries.
Sometimes we need to just carry on, tending to life until our spirit catches up. I learned this from a random man in the grocery store a few years ago. His bandage startled me when I first saw him roll the wheelchair around the corner of the aisle, a case of water bottles balanced on his lap. He was young, and the bandage capped the stub of his right knee like a white period at the end of an unfinished sentence. A PICC line dangled from beneath his right sleeve, as if he’d been too impatient after surgery to have someone remove the tubes. The wheelchair looked borrowed—something he planned to use only until he learned to walk again, which would be soon, judging by the determined look on his face as he heaved the bottles into a waiting cart. He pulled himself along with his foot, pushing the cart slowly around the cereal aisle, out of sight. As I meandered the store, gathering my items, I hoped to see him again, not to stare at what he was missing but to admire what he retained—the spirit to leave self-pity at home, the strength and grace to go out and get the groceries.
In a rhetorical question, Proverbs asks, “A wounded spirit who can bear?” But the answer is simple: no one. We were not meant to live discouraged, weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). So the next time you’re feeling disheartened, try these spirit-lifting practices or perhaps discover your own method for charging your spirit back up to 100%.