GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book The Path to Wholeness by this week’s podcast guest. Keep reading to find out how!
Everyone experiences emotions—some easy, some difficult. But even though emotions are a normal part of life, dealing with them can be quite challenging. We often lack the intuition to understand them or the language to fully express them.
But after today, you just might see your emotions as your “friend”!
Did you ever think that was possible?
Well, this conversation with Dr. Mark Mayfield will show you why you don’t have to be intimidated by those pesky emotions. You’ll learn how your emotions develop and why it’s okay to express them, even the ones you’d rather live without.
As we talk about Mark’s book, The Path to Wholeness: Managing Emotions, Finding Healing, and Becoming Our Best Selves, he highlights the importance of not running away from your emotions and how even the difficult ones can help you experience the goodness of God.
He’ll also give you some really great insight on how to know if you’re burned out—or just worn out—and practical ways to deal with burnout.
Are you ready? It’s time to rethink our emotions, my friend, so let’s go…
Dr. Mark Mayfield is a former pastor, a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a board-certified counselor, and the founder and CEO of Mayfield Counseling Centers. He has more than fourteen years of professional counseling experience in clinical, judicial, and faith-based counseling settings. He has been featured in media outlets including Woman’s Day, NBC, Reader’s Digest, and more. He lives with his family in Texas.
[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]
- You can win a copy of Mark’s book, The Path to Wholeness. Hurry—we’re picking a random winner on September 28! Enter on Instagram here.
Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Invisible: How You Feel is Not Who You Are
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
More from Dr. Mark Mayfield
- Visit Mark’s website
- The Path to Wholeness: Managing Emotions, Finding Healing, and Becoming Our Best Selves
- Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- Fresh Grounded Faith Events
- One Minute Pause app by John Eldredge
- Life Recovery Groups
- New Life Live! Hotline: 1-800-NEW-LIFE and website
Related Blog Posts
- Can I Get My Life Back? With John Eldredge [Episode 93]
- Can I Learn To Deal With How I Feel? With Dr. James Merritt [Episode 235]
- Can I Prevent Mental and Emotional Meltdowns? With Jeff Peabody [Episode 262]
- Can I Control My Anger So It Doesn’t Control Me? [Episode 4]
- Can I Find Grit to Show Up When I Want to Shut Down? With Lisa Whittle [Episode 176]
- Can I See the Hard Things as Good Things? With Ann Voskamp [Episode 54]
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
4:13 Podcast: Can I Manage My Emotions and Find Healing? With Dr. Mark Mayfield [Episode 264]
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Many of us that have grown up maybe in the church have had certain narratives given to us that our emotions are bad or they should be avoided or, you know, we need to ignore them, we just need to pray a little bit more, you know, whatever that might be. And I say we need to embrace the God-given reflection, I think, of who he is in these emotions. Now, obviously marred by sin, but the expression of our emotions, I think, draws us closer to a perfect reflection of who God really wants us to be.
Jennifer Rothschild: Everyone experiences emotions. Some are easy and some are difficult, and dealing with them should be common sense, right? But it isn't. Even though emotions are a very normal part of life, we often lack the language to fully understand and express them. Well, that changes today, my friend. On this episode of The 4:13, Dr. Mark Mayfield is going to teach us how to slow down and explore the ways our emotions develop. He'll also expose the toll that unexpressed emotions take on us and he'll highlight the importance of paying attention to all those feelings.
All right, we are about to get on the road to emotional wholeness. So let's do it, K.C.
K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, hello. We're glad you're back again. I say that every week because it's how I feel every week, we're glad you're here. I'm Jennifer. And my goal is to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you are living the "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13, which is simply yielding, surrendering, and experiencing the power of Christ in you, which will empower you to live out your calling and who you are created to be. We don't do it through our own strength, our people. It's not our grit. It's Christ's strength in us. And then who gets the glory? Christ. That's the way to be.
All right. So today I had a really good conversation with Dr. Mark, and I can't wait for you to hear it. You know how there's just some, K.C., you resonate with?
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: This guy was one of those for me. And I even told him that his voice kind of reminded me a little bit of John Eldredge.
K.C. Wright: Yeah. One of my favorite guests, yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know. That kind of gentle counseling voice. Anyway, I got to just tell you one quick thing about John Eldredge. Okay?
K.C. Wright: Okay. He's one of my favorite authors.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, me too. And he's actually influenced Mark, which you'll hear about.
K.C. Wright: Wow.
Jennifer Rothschild: But I had downloaded his app, you know, The One Minute Pause -- which we'll have a link to it on the Show Notes. But it begins every very time with, "Jesus, I give you everything and everyone." Okay? It's beautiful. It's just a sweet way to be able to pray and pause. Okay. Well, one time -- and that's all it takes, is one --
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- my friend Paula's son Drew heard it and he goes, "Mom, did he say cheese puffs?" So now all I can hear is "cheese puffs." "I give you everything and everyone, cheese puffs." Isn't that hilarious?
K.C. Wright: That is so funny.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Anyway, that has nothing to do with anything. I am on the way this morning, by the way, to Plant City, Florida. I told you that's where I was headed this weekend in Florida for a Fresh Grounded Faith. So if you're nearby, you can come. I'm going to get to see my mom, which is always a blessing.
And that reminds me I got to tell you something that happened recently with one of my little boys, my little grandboys. Okay, so we have three little grandboys, and they're funny little men. Well, the middle one is named after my dad who passed away, so his name is Lawson James. And he is a delight, and he's darling --
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- and he is a big boy. You know what I mean?
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: He's probably going to be over six feet and very hefty.
And so Caroline, the best daughter-in-law in the world, she picks up the boys from school. And little Lawson, she finds out once he gets home, has something in his pocket that did not belong to him.
K.C. Wright: Ooh.
Jennifer Rothschild: Now, these boys all like to build. And this was some kind of part, like a wheel or something, that would go -- that he could use for his own toys at home. So she finds it and she goes, "Lawson, what is this?" "It's a block from school." It's a block from school.
K.C. Wright: Right.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, "I needed it." "No. This is not yours." You know, she's trying to explain to him basically that he's a little thief. And she's trying to explain to him that he's stealing, you know, when he takes something that isn't his. And he barely understands. He's three. Okay? So the best part of this, he goes, "But, Mommy, I only take cool things." So he's a little thief with very good taste. We know how to raise our sinners well around here in our homes. So anyway, isn't that adorable? So he did return it -- he learned a lesson -- and he's on the path of righteousness. But anyway, I just love that. I'm like, well, of course. What a smart little thief, he only steals very cool things. Why would he steal something uncool? And he thought that was logical to tell his mama. But, yeah, he still had to go return it.
But anyway, so I'm happy I get to see my mom this weekend. And by the way, speaking of Fresh Grounded Faith, our friends, we are rarely in the Fargo area, but we're going to be there in October, on the 27th and 28th. So if you are near Fargo, North Dakota, we're coming to see you, so we want you to come to see us. Okay?
All right. That's all I got to talk about, which really has nothing to do with this amazing conversation. But I would love for you to introduce our guest, K.C.
K.C. Wright: Well, and before I do, since The 4:13 covers the whole world from the top to the bottom and all the way around, I'm looking for a church in Aruba to sponsor a Fresh Grounded Faith.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah, and K.C. will come.
K.C. Wright: And I will be there. But again, we're looking for Aruba, and we're looking at more than just a weekend Fresh Grounded Faith.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, no. We want a big revival that lasts a month.
K.C. Wright: We want a revival that lasts one full month. Thank you. I know there's a church in Aruba that wants us.
Okay. Dr. Mark Mayfield is a former pastor, a licensed professional counselor, LPC, a board-certified counselor, and the founder and CEO of Mayfield Counseling Centers. He has more than 14 years of professional counseling experience in clinical, judicial, and faith-based counseling settings. He has been featured in media outlets, including "Women's Day," NBC, "Reader's Digest," and many more. He lives with his family in Texas. All right, our people, the doctor is in the house.
Jennifer Rothschild: The doctor is in the house.
All right, Mark. This is one of my favorite topics that you've written on -- okay? -- because we all feel emotions, but we don't always know what we're feeling or we don't know how to deal with those feelings. So your book helps us with these emotions. But here's what's interesting. You did not title your book, "A Path to Eradicating Negative Emotions" or "A Path to Supernatural Self-Control Over All Those Bad Emotions." No. You titled your book "The Path to Wholeness." So explain why that title.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Yeah, absolutely. Especially in the field of counseling, I find that we have such a love-hate relationship with our emotions, and many of us that have grown up maybe in the church have had certain narratives given to us that our emotions are bad or they should be avoided or we need to ignore them, we just need to pray a little bit more, you know, whatever that might be. And I say we need to embrace the God-given reflection, I think, of who he is in these emotions. Now, obviously, marred by sin, but the expression of our emotions, I think, draws us closer to a perfect reflection of who God really wants us to be.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that's good. I've always thought too, Mark, you know, if we don't really experience our wholeness, then we're incapacitated to really recognize God in his wholeness too. And so I love that you're saying let's integrate all those emotions that maybe we feel some discomfort with because that can lead us to this path of wholeness.
And you've got an interesting perspective too, I think, because you are a former pastor, but now you are a counselor. So it's interesting that those roles -- I don't know. Are they similar, are they different? Give us some insight into that.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: I think they are similar. I do a lot of consulting with churches and Christian schools and different organizations and I always say that it's my desire to work myself out of a job as a counselor. Because really the original purpose of the church was to step into people's lives in this way, right? And I think one of the things I noticed as a pastor is I was not prepared as well as I possibly could have been at Bible school to really sit with the complexities of this world that, you know, our people are dealing with. And so when I had a young man die by suicide and another one that was overdosing on drugs, I didn't know what to do, you know, from a youth and family pastor standpoint except for just sit with people. Which, you know, come to find out, that's really a good thing, you know. But got pulled back into seminary to go get my master's in counseling. And I really feel like they all really tie nicely together and beautifully together, but I really feel like it's the role of the church to step in and walk with people towards wholeness. I just think that we don't know -- or we've forgotten how.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Or we're so intimidated of feeling we might do it wrong.
You know, when you said work yourself out of a job, early in our marriage, my husband, Phil, and I went to counseling, Christian counselor. And this counselor, I thought -- I've never forgotten one of the things he said. He said, "If the body of Christ can do their job, then I won't need a job."
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Amen.
Jennifer Rothschild: And I think there's something to that.
So from both sides of the pulpit now, you've been able to really have a front row seat to people suffering. So I'm curious if you could just kind of, as we kind of go into this conversation, help us understand what a theology of suffering is.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Yeah. So I think a theology of suffering really is this framework of what it means to be in this world and to be human, but to be a part of the fallen world. And I think a lot of times we can take a look at suffering as a form of punishment or, you know, I've done something wrong, I'm such a wretch, or whatever that might be -- right? -- and we look at it from a framework of let's just get through it, let's just get over it, let's just grin and bear it or whatever, you know, idiom or analogy you want to throw out there.
And really a theology of suffering is is what is trying to be refined in me in a -- best way to put it, in a desire to become more like Christ. And I think when we look at it from a framework of refining and from a framework of growth, it changes our perspective. And I say this a lot, that we need a theology of suffering before we can have a theology of care. So looking at Scripture -- I come back to Scripture all the time. There's so many beautiful ways in which we can see God walk with people like Elijah or Job or, you know, Daniel or David or Gideon, you know, and how their stories were dealt with trial, with struggle, with tension, but also with kindness and grace and care.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: And I love Elijah's story in 1 Kings, because God didn't chastise him and didn't yell at him and didn't make him feel smaller because of his struggle. Even though he just came off of a mountaintop experience, God patiently, kindly just wanted to hear what was going on. And, you know, he didn't let him get away with anything, but he wanted to hear his side of things.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And then he ministered to him. He fed him, he nourished him, he took care of him, which is a beautiful thought.
And you said something also in what you just answered that I want to go back to because it reminded me of something in your book. Okay? In your book you write that in our Western culture, we far too often desire to get over the experience -- okay? -- versus move through. That's what you just mentioned. So explain the difference of those and why it matters.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Sure. Well, I grew up in a -- I mean, I have a great relationship with my parents now, and I grew up in a family that was very much unsure of what to do with emotions because of how they were raised. And so a lot of it was, you know, just get over it or go to your room until you're done being emotional, right?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: The narrative that I created in my mind was that emotions were not welcome. And now talking to my parents, that's not at all the case. They just didn't know what to do with it.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sure.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: But to get over something means that we need to not let it be a part of the experiencing or, like, we don't need it to be dramatic or we don't -- and so the narrative becomes that we need to ignore it or numb it out or just put our head down and run through it, versus this idea of, okay, what am I trying to be taught? What am I needing to learn? I don't believe that we can fully experience joy and peace and comfort and happiness if we don't experience some of the more difficult emotions, because in that we learn the nuances and the complexities of tension and of grace and of compassion.
And so getting through something -- I love the 23rd Psalm, right? You know, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I feel no evil. So, like, God's rod and staff walking with us, right? There's this picture of -- we can't bypass the valley; we have to walk through it. And in that, we experience the goodness of God more so than we would if we try to get over it.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah. And his nearness, and his nearness. But if we run from the emotion, run from the hard things, sometimes we're running from the very peace that we're longing for with God's presence.
And you mentioned the word "tension," which I thought was interesting, because in your book you compare tension in our lives to a check engine light for our emotions. Which I love that. So explain what that means.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Well, so, you know, you think about the check engine light. And I think I said this in the book, I had a friend that didn't know what to do with the check engine light, so he put a piece of black tape over it on the dashboard. And I'm like, oh, that's not a good thing.
You know, the tension of our emotions, it is like this check engine light, it's our warning system. It's our system that's saying something is not quite right or something is off or something is different, right? And if we don't become a student of our mind, body, and spirit, we're not going to recognize when those check engine lights come on. And very often, at least in the counseling room, we don't pay attention to those things and we don't notice those things until we're in crisis mode. And so I really challenge my clients, and then now in the book, for individuals to become a student of their mind, body, and spirit so they can begin to pay attention to those check engine lights and go, oh, something is not quite right --
Jennifer Rothschild: Something's wrong.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: -- or something's off. I'm not going to freak out about it, but I'm going to go, oh, I wonder why that's there, you know.
Jennifer Rothschild: So when you're talking, Mark, about emotions, often we think that is going to be expressions of anger or sorrow or tears or whatever. But you have said twice now mind, body, emotion. So are you saying that if we feel a certain tension in our body, that that can be a clue?
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Yes, 100%. And I think we don't recognize just how connected everything is.
And so like -- you know, for example -- I'll be very transparent -- in these last couple weeks, I've been dealing with just some tightness in my chest and kind of having a hard time taking a deep breath. And to me, that is a telltale sign that my anxiety is back. And I mentioned it to my wife a couple weeks ago, I said, "I don't know why it's back, but I just noticed that I'm just kind of not able to take a cleansing deep breath." And she goes, "I wonder what is going on." So, you know, I noticed it, right? And so it's been something on the forefront of my mind for these last couple of weeks, and I realized, okay, I've got a lot coming. I've got a book coming out, I've got different things happening here at home. I've got a travel coming up, I've got, you know, a hundred different things. And it's all good, and it's exciting, but it's a lot. And so instead of ignoring it and getting to a place now -- you know, ten years ago if I'd ignored it, I'd go into a full-blown panic attack. Now it's like, okay, it's there. I know that it's -- I've been a student of my mind, body, and spirit for quite some time now. I know that this will last for a couple days, a couple weeks, you know, but no more than that, and it won't get too bad. I'll be okay.
Jennifer Rothschild: And so it's like you pulled up the hood, checked the engine, and said, okay, yeah, you got something going on here, but it's going to be okay, you're a healthy engine. So the anxiety is not a symptom of unhealth in so many ways as it is just an indication that your body, your mind, your spirit is trying to say, hey, we're aware of what you're going through --
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- let's get through it together. Yeah.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Exactly.
Jennifer Rothschild: It's such a good analogy. And I love in so many ways how you're almost animating this idea of our emotions. And you do that in the book too, because you talk about having your emotions become old friends. So what do you mean by that?
Dr. Mark Mayfield: So, yeah, I mean, I kind of stumbled into that with a client. I had a client that had just become overwhelmed with a recent diagnosis, a physical diagnosis. It was triggering his anxiety. And so I encouraged him to -- you know, a Holy Spirit moment, right? I love kind of being that extension of the Holy Spirit in a session. And I always tell my students that we can be the extension of the Holy Spirit whether the people in our presence realize that or not.
And so I was just praying during that time, "Lord, how do I help him work through this?" And I made the comment, "I wonder what it would be like to be old friends with your emotions," and he kind of looked at me like I was bonkers. And I said, "You know what? I know that when we externalize, what's going on inside of us becomes more manageable." And so I said, "What would it look like to personify this anxiety, this distress that you're dealing with?" And so I talked -- you know, I just in the moment came up with a list of questions for him to walk through. And so he went home and he began to kind of characterize this anxiety.
And he came back and told me kind of the personification of what this anxiety looked like. And I said, "Okay. Now, what would it look like to be old friends with this?" meaning that you're not surprised by it. The anxiety is not spiked because of it. You know what to expect, you know their facial features. Just the nuances of an old friend, the tone of their voice. When they get upset, what they're going to do and how they're going to react because we've had time and we've had experience with them. And again he kind of looked at me like I was -- you know, like, okay, I'll try it. And he came back the next week just in tears going, "What I thought was a monster was actually this little annoying kid." And I'm like, "Okay, so how are you going to interact with it?" I'm like, "Well, I'm going to figure out a way to integrate it into my life."
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: I said, "That's fantastic."
And so that was, you know, ten years ago, and I've been using that exercise all the time with my clients now, because it helps take something that seems so big and scary from within and externalizes it to something that they can engage in.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, Dr. Mayfield, we all just became your clients, and we're all going to use that too because that's brilliant. And what I love too about it is often intuitively we think a negative emotion is our enemy, and so we fight it and we run from it. And you're saying, no, what if it's an old friend? Because just think about -- you know, you've got a relationship with that old friend and you're not threatened by it. So that's such a -- thank you, Holy Spirit, for giving that to you many years ago and now giving it to us. I really appreciate that.
And so I'm thinking about the ones listening. And they may not be the ones who are struggling with an issue right now, but maybe someone they love is. Okay? So in your book you write about developing a theology of care. And you mentioned that early on in our conversation. So give us an idea about what that is and, like, a very practical first step we can take to care well for somebody who's struggling.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Yeah. So it goes back to the question you asked earlier about just the theology of suffering. I think we need to first recognize and realize how do we see suffering in this world as an individual, as a child of God, because that's going to really inform how we develop a theology of care. And many of us in this Western culture are kind of in that -- we don't do well with grief, we don't do well with pain, we don't do well with things that make us uncomfortable in others; we want to jump in and fix. And I think a lot of times that can make matters worse, right?
Just think back to our church experiences, how many of us have wrestled with something difficult and we've gone to church. And in their best way possible -- right? -- not to say that they were doing anything maliciously, but in the best way possible they said, Hey, have you thought about this verse or have you prayed more in this area? And, like, all good things, right? Like, yes, we need to be praying more, we need to be meditating on Scripture. But was that what was needed in the moment? And to be honest, probably not, right? So this idea that we need to be more comfortable with our own self. So a theology of care actually has more to do with ourselves and our own comfortability with tension, with pain, with struggle, with suffering. And we need to take on this framework of compassion.
And one of my mentors mentioned -- I mention this in the book -- this idea that I always thought compassion was just sympathy or empathy, sitting with somebody. But compassion actually means, in the Latin, to suffer with. And so I think true theology of care goes, are we willing to step into the trenches and to suffer with those that are suffering? No, not taking on their story, not trying to own it or fix it or anything like that, but just to enter in, I think is the first step. And I think all of us could say right now we have somebody in our life that we can just enter in with. And maybe hold the tension for a while for them to give them a break. And then go home and not own it, but go home and continue to keep them in mind and prayer. But I think that will spur on positive actions.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. It's a paradigm shift for a lot of people. Because often when someone presents you with an issue, it's our tendency to want to fix. And sometimes that's to avoid feeling. But either way, I think what you've just shared is super helpful, to enter in. And so when -- so I'm an absorber. So you tell me your stuff, I'm going to absorb it, I'm going to carry it, I'm going to get a stomach ache for you, you know?
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Right, right.
Jennifer Rothschild: Now, I've matured out of that for the most part. But that's my tendency. There's a lot of people, that's their tendency. So how does someone enter in and love well and not absorb it all?
Dr. Mark Mayfield: One of my favorite prayers, a mentor shared with me once, was, Lord, I give everyone and everything over to you.
Jennifer Rothschild: John Eldredge.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Yep.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Yes. Okay, I'm with you.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Yeah, he -- you know, we were sitting having a conversation once and I asked him that question, and he goes, "Yep. Lord, I give everyone and everything over to you." And so I pray that constantly.
But I also think if we are a true student of our mind, body, and spirit, we are able to distinguish and differentiate what's mine and what's not mine. And so one of the things I love doing as a therapist is that I make sure that I gently give back anything and everything that was put on me in the session. As a therapist, it's supposed to be put on me, right? That's the ability to engage. But I can't take that home. I've got three kids and a wife and, you know, I can't be burdened.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, you got your own stuff, too, that you're carrying.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: I got my own stuff, yeah. So finding ways to give it back gently.
But then also, if I can't fully, you know, I pray Galatians 6:14, you know, the cross between, again, another John Eldredge thing. And then really just that prayer, "Lord, I'm giving everything back to you, because this is yours anyway; it's not mine." And I think in some ways, I've found personally -- because I'm the same way as you. But I've had somebody challenge me once that it's kind of presumptuous --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, it is.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: -- and almost prideful for us to think that we can carry everybody else's stuff.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Right.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: And I'm like, oh, that -- that kind of hit me between the eyes.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know, right? I have had that same experience and realized, well, Jennifer, who do you think you are that you don't need to cast this burden on the Lord. That you're supposed to carry it? No. That's not our role. So it's good, as you were saying, to be old friends with our emotions, to recognize, oh, that's my tendency, to jump there with pride or control or whatever it might be.
Man, Mark, this is so good. And, boy, I hate we have to get to our last question, because I can tell you're the kind of guy I could just ask a million questions to. And this is why you've written the book. So, our listeners, we're going to make sure you have access to Mark's book.
But here's our last question. Okay? We're going to get a little bit granular here and this is how we're going to end, very practical. Because I've noticed this happens to be a bump on the road on people's paths to wholeness. Okay? Burnout. I'm hearing more and more about burnout. So I would like you to talk about what it means to feel burnt out. Like, how do you know if you're really burnt out or just worn out? And then if a person truly is burnt out or starting to feel burnt out, give us some very practical ways we can deal with that.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: Well, I think -- yes, that's a great question. And I think -- I'll come back to Scripture. I think we need to have a right understanding of God's self and others. I look at the greatest commandment in Matthew 22, and I think sometimes we misread that passage as kind of listicle, you know, Western culture: love God, number one, check; love others, check. And then if I get to myself someday down -- you know, check. But the Scriptures were written in a Middle Eastern Asian culture, cyclical reasoning. And we look at that passage, and when it says the second is like it, it actually is the Greek word homoios or homoio, which means equal to.
And so I just challenge individuals, a right relationship with God, a right relationship with others, and a right relationship with ourself is actually loving God well. And I think a lot of times we don't love ourselves or have a good relationship with ourself, and so that is a very direct link to burnout. We feel like that our ministry to God and to others should take precedent, and it has to be -- I like it kind of in a rhythmic balance. We need to figure out a way to make sure that each one is healthy. And so burnout comes when those are out -- at least in my opinion, out of sync.
And so when we think about burnout, we think about not a healthy mind, body, spirit, and in all three categories. I think we can get fatigued, you know, in our body, we can get fatigued in our emotions, we can get fatigued in our spirit, but a lot of times those are individual, and other ones are strong. But I think burnout comes when we're fatigued in all three, and it's because we are not caring for our souls the way that we need to. And that's the -- I think what I talk through just in kind of the logic of the whole book of going, if we put these things in place and we really spend time engaging in some of the tensions and the difficulties of what our emotions provide, we are going to create patterns of wholeness so that we avoid burnout.
But I think the biggest -- and I'll end with this. I think the biggest indicator of burnout is lack of connection and lack of relationship. And I think when we might be burned out or tired emotionally, we might be tired physically or spiritually. But when we remove ourselves relationally, that's where loneliness kicks in and then isolation kicks in. And, you know, I believe that loneliness leads to isolation, isolation leads to death, you know. And maybe not physical, but everything else.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sure.
Dr. Mark Mayfield: And so those are some indicators. So I think the biggest thing to do is just to take a step back and go, okay, where am I? Let's be honest. Let's recognize where I'm at right now. And in humility and in honesty, let me go, what kind of help do I need to seek, whether it be a pastor, a counselor, a coach, spiritual mentor, somebody to help shoulder the burden for a while?
K.C. Wright: Yes. Get connected with somebody who can shoulder the burden. You and I were not meant to do this life alone. Population me is not God's will for your life.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's so good, K.C.
K.C. Wright: Life matters and you need community. That's why it's so important to belong to a local church. And this former pastor would agree with my statements.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, he sure would. I mean, just think about it. Loneliness leads to isolation, isolation leads to death, death of hope, death of joy. But Jesus can resurrect even what feels dead and hopeless. So let's all follow Dr. Mayfield's advice. Get connected.
K.C. Wright: We will have a link -- speaking of connections -- and a phone number to do a counseling service on the Show Notes, if you need that today. And on the Show Notes we will also link you to his book. He can walk you through this process in the pages of "The Path to Wholeness." The Show Notes are simply at 413podcast.com/264. But good news, we're giving one away.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: So go to Jennifer's Insta right now to enter to win, or you can, of course, hop on over to the Show Notes. Bottom line, our people, everything you will need is on the Show Notes. That's 413podcast.com/264.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yep, I agree 100% with the Seeing Eye Guy.
All right, our people, get connected. We need each other, and you can. Remember, you can also manage your emotions and find healing because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.
K.C. Wright: I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: And you can.
K.C. Wright: You can. (Singing) Everybody needs somebody sometimes.
Jennifer Rothschild: (Singing) Everybody needs some coffee all the time.
K.C. Wright: (Singing) All the time.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, that's it. I got nothing else.
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