You Are Not Really Capable of Being Tired, but You Are Very Capable of Wearying Yourself

music-in-the-tuileries-gardens-1862 - manet“You are not really capable of being tired, but you are very capable of wearying yourself. (T47)”

Affirmation: “I am not really capable of being tired”


1 – Two Concepts

Prior to studying this passage, we may feel that our concepts of “being tired” and “wearying” ourselves mean the same. They do not. Being tired suggests an outward invasion upon our bodies, something that is “done” to us. We can easily recognize, though, that wearying ourselves is an internal matter; we are doing this unto ourselves.

2 – Example of a Child

Of course, we may feel that we are more prone to wearying ourselves because we have gotten tired from outside factors. And this may be true. When a child, a young child, is sleepy and tired from much activity, he/she is likely to become quite rambunctious, as an outward display of the big push to keep going. Few children want to sleep when that time comes. So the wise mother or father puts the child down to sleep when the child has become cranky–if that crankiness is believed to be the cause of the upset.

3 – We Do This unto Ourselves

We need to do the same for ourselves. Few of us get enough sleep, busy as we are with stressful jobs and demanding families. We also push ourselves beyond our limits. And when we do so, we get tired. Now Jesus says that this “tiredness” is a misnomer, that we are actually wearying ourselves by our behavior.

4 – Preachers and Missionaries

Certainly it is true that there are accounts of great preachers who have preached for days on end without weariness. And there are accounts of missionaries are served for decades with demanding schedules without weariness. E. Stanley Jones is a missionary who fits this mold. He told openly of his great weariness and illness, to the point that he must quit the work; but then he had an experience of grace in which he turned the whole over to God, and from then on he was not flagging in spirit. And he retained vigor for a long, long life of service.

5 – Can We Compare?

Are we like these men and women of God? Can we claim the desire not to weary ourselves? And never to be tired, or what we call “tired”?

6 – Very Different Concepts

The two concepts of tiredness and weariness can be seen as very different. Projection makes perception, and being tired would be a conceivable invasion from beyond ourselves if we could actually be influenced by the world’s actions. The theoretical foundation of
A Course in Miracles makes clear that the world does nothing to us; we only think that it does. We are doing this unto ourselves. With this realization, we are solely in the driver’s seat.

7 – Reflect Quietly

In the workaday world, this philosophical interpretation of the influence of the world may seem far from the truth. Only in our quiet moments of reflection is it likely that a glimmering of the truth of this teaching of ACIM will become apparent. When we stop long enough to be introspective, we can see that we are wearying ourselves as we go about our daily activities. A simple change of mind can make the most onerous tasks seem more palatable. And we will recognize, in our quiet moments, that we can be strong and not tired, however much we actually do. Frequently a change of attitude is all that is needed. But this change is spiritual, and we may need a miracle to see its realization. Pray for that miracle.


Dear Father,

May I realize the truth that wearying myself is something that I do to myself. It can be undone by a quiet moment of reflection.

Thank you that the world does nothing to me. I only thought that it did. And this includes the thought that I am tired. May we learn that being tired is not actually done by the world to us, but wearying ourselves is done to ourselves by ourselves.


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