Burnout in the Workplace: A Call for Connection

by Bernadette Glass

I have been working in the health and human services (family, disability, housing etc.) industry for a combined 30 years. I have always known that what makes the difference in people’s lives is the connection that is made with another human being to then reflect to them the essence of themselves which is love. We don’t readily use this word in our industry because it ‘blurs the boundaries’, gets us ‘emotionally involved’. We silently all know that what is missing in most of our clients’ lives is an experience of true connection with another, true love. Not emotional love, but a connection that the heart of humanity is calling out to be declared, be truly SEEN and individuals to be ‘met’ and known as ‘enough’ just for who they are.

A pivotal point in my career was a true story told by Narrative Therapy founder, Michael White. When supporting a woman with severe depression who was an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital, Michael asked her, “who is it that has seen you for who you truly are?”. The woman in her mid 30’s replied without hesitation, “my grade two teacher”.  The story eventuated with a reconnection with the now well retired ‘grade two teacher’ and that was the beginning of the woman’s healing.

Since my connection with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I have seen and felt the true way in which others have been ‘met’ for who they truly are, connected with their ‘enough-ness’ and begun to express themselves and their lives in true service to humanity, without the word ‘love’ being silenced!

Serge has an extraordinary understanding of the human condition and the effects on the individual and the collective when both are disregarded. This is reflected in the service demands for health, housing, social supports to name a few.

This is not rocket science!

I now present workshops myself in the human service field and what I am finding all over Australia is that many workers in this sector are exhausted, burnt out, pushed to the limits with the ever increasing demands for evidence of social advancement for clients to justify the dollars being spent!

What works as I present to workers across the sector is the reminder that we are ‘enough’ as human beings long before the expectations to achieve. A reminder of the first and foremost task of a worker, is to know this of themselves so that they can present and reflect this to their colleagues and clients. The response to such claims is always met with nods and relief that this topic is being discussed.

The essence of what Serge Benhayon presents is that we are all made to express love and to be connected. It is what everyone craves and feels to express. Why do we not say this? I have been inspired by the only person I know who truly is not afraid to say it to the world in a way that deeply challenges each individual to take responsibility for their lives in every aspect, bar none. We can make a difference. What are we afraid of?

193 thoughts on “Burnout in the Workplace: A Call for Connection

  1. This is a great question to ask everyone, “who is it that has seen you for who you truly are?”. Because those many that are around us have probably not seen or met us. So it’s a no wonder we niggle at each other.

    When we met another, they can truly feel a settlement and sense that it’s ok. People just need that support to being with, that’s all. And then allow the rest to unfold.

  2. “ “Who is it that has seen you for who you truly are?” “. Such a beautiful and yet simple question and I can also answer to that. When I was young, after moving to the UK from India, it was a infant school teacher. I couldn’t speak a word of English but I could feel everything. She had a nurturing energy about her and I felt safe with her.

    Since then, I’ve never met anyone else until I met Serge Benhayon. To truly meet someone who understands you inside out, is unreal. The meaning of life is presented and then we realise and understand what it’s all about.

    My life is far from perfect, but boy oh boy is it better in how I feel about myself in how I am in the world. Much for us to ponder over too. So the question is how are you and how are you being in this world? If it is awkward or difficult to answer, then maybe it is time for you to ponder who in your life sees you for who you truly are and reconnect to that and see what unfolds…

    1. There’s always one person that stands out in our lives that truly meet us for who we are. It is the one that comes and goes in our lives but their presence is never forgotten, but can often be felt. That is the effects of Serge Benhayon too.

  3. Burnout comes as a result of neglecting ourselves and relying upon function rather than connection.

    1. Absolutely Henrietta. Burnout from disconnection comes from doing all the time, instead of stopping, connecting to you and then moving from there.

  4. “we are ‘enough’ as human beings long before the expectations to achieve. A reminder of the first and foremost task of a worker, is to know this of themselves so that they can present and reflect this to their colleagues and clients.” – What a difference this would make if we applied this in every work place, every family, every circle of friends or groups of people etc. above and beyond the task that was to be done together.

  5. “We don’t readily use this word in our industry because it ‘blurs the boundaries’, gets us ‘emotionally involved’. We silently all know that what is missing in most of our clients’ lives is an experience of true connection with another, true love.” – Bernadette, this nails it completely – Love is an essential ingredient of human relations, however we have tainted the words to mean something they are not and then seek to replace it with something it is not, hence we get a society that is lost of the very foundational ingredients that support it to thrive.

  6. If so much pressure and focus is on an employees output without any true input (love and connection) then it makes sense that burnout occurs. Connection is an inward movement and without it everything we do outwardly is like breathing out constantly without an in-breath. Do it enough and things start to go awry.

  7. “… be truly SEEN and individuals to be ‘met’ and known as ‘enough’ just for who they are.” Wow, what a loving world we would be in if we did this for each other and lived this truth for ourselves. I’m not quite there myself yet, I can see I am still unlocking all the expectations and pressures I have felt across my life and the negative thoughts that demean me, all of which steer me away from simply being me and enjoying this, knowing it’s enough.

  8. “What works as I present to workers across the sector is the reminder that we are ‘enough’ as human beings long before the expectations to achieve.” Thank you Bernadette for calling out what is so much needed. I work in a field where the burn out workers ended up. When they are in our hospital this is exactly what I said to them as well therefore I love it very much that your are out there to present it before they will get the burn out.

  9. Very much so, ‘We silently all know that what is missing in most of our clients’ lives is an experience of true connection with another, true love.’

  10. Work to me is always about the healing on offer because of the relationships we encounter in our work day. We have an opportunity to bring the fullness of ourselves to others and meet them in theirs even if they are not living it as yet, but still knowing solidly that we are all in essence love.

  11. Knowing we are enough is always met with nods and relief. It’s like we have waited most of our life to hear that we can down tools and stop with all the trying.

    1. Spot on Fiona, it is a huge relief to drop the trying and to know that we are enough just as we are without trying to do anything. From here anything done, is an extension of who we are and then offers so much more to all around us.

  12. This connection and expression, it starts with ourselves, I find. Otherwise, I will have a need to be met, connected, heard etc. and I set myself up for a hurt, or at least settling for arrangement. The fact that we are enough already even before anything, this needs to be deeply, deeply appreciated before anything else.

  13. I am privileged to observe two little girls growing up, one is being brought up to know that she is adored for just being herself, she runs around like a ray of sunshine and brightens up the dullest of days; there is a vitality about her that is not often seen in children any more. The other little girl is utterly gorgeous but has already withdrawn and looks upon life with suspicion. I am observing just how easy it is to crush a child’s innate sense of wonder at the world and this takes the shine out of them and there is no true vitality in their body. I look around and can see that for many people there is no true sense of the vitality that we took for granted when I grew up, there is a dullness to the way we move and interact with others.

    1. It’s such a powerful observation, both in what we are doing to children to crush their essence, and how we look and feel, vital and joyous, when our essence is nurtured and exuberant. We may not even notice when we as adults or children are suppressed and in the dullness because it’s actually now our global normal.

  14. To be met in our ‘enough-ness’ is all we ever want as children, to be seen and heard for the adorable children we all are. And with all the modern advances, new technology etc., We are still a million miles away
    from expressing this to our children, What is it about the way we live in society that when a baby grows out of the baby stage we start to impose upon it so that by the time it is 3-4 years old all the love they carry has been suppressed for another life time.

    1. That’s exactly it Mary, we have made the outer world and achievements, material things, technology, etc, more important than what truly supports and nourishes us as human beings. We need to restore the right order of loving people first and confirming the preciousness they are, and then when established in our fullness take that out to life. Otherwise all the achievements and technological advancements we make are things we need to fill the inner emptiness, instead of coming from the place within of deeply knowing who we are and the recognition of the outer world is not needed, in its place is our loving purpose to serve the all.

  15. I too work in care and have found that I can only be a care provider for others when I care for myself. Otherwise I become a function maintainer but that doesn’t heal anything.

    1. Great realisation Leigh – we can function incredibly well, but that only lasts so long till such time that we stop to realise the emptiness that is there and that life is more than about pure function, and that life is in fact so much more than pure function – and so when we make it only about function we are missing out on the core aspects of life, which is the actual LIVING LIFE part – the part a lot of us forget about and need to be reminded of to come back to.

  16. The idea of well demarcated boundaries in the name of protecting us is often times the perfect excuse for those who do not care and do not understand that what happens within those boundaries is also related to what happens outside of them.

  17. Yes, it has always been about function for me, getting the job done and moving to the next. That is why I burned out at 50. Now with support from Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I am slowing done and working with the concept that being met is all people want.
    It really has changed my relationship to work and the people I meet.

  18. When you stand in front of someone who is not afraid of others you can feel where your fear lies. It takes honesty to go there and to recognise the attachments and the ideals that lie dormant in our bodies and hold us back.

  19. This is common disease within the world for any kind of employment. In my work environment they have contracted to an external coach to improve the work environment. Some of the principles we are being asked to now work with is kindness, being good to each other and being present, physically and not consciously present, in other words resilience to one another.

    One of the things that hasn’t been asked of us is being consciously present when we are working, exploring what our bodies are really going through.

    No doubt this has cost my employer thousands of dollars and it will be interesting whether burnout will be eradicated after this coach has finished with us. I am finding the whole thing interesting to observe.

  20. There is such truth in what has been shared here. I pondered on my work environment and wondered what was going on when I first commenced there. Over the years I became part of the statistics of burnout and it was only when I met Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine that I made the choice to turn my life around, I did not want to be part of this statistic anymore.

    Have I perfected it? No, but I know who I am in my work environment more now then ever.
If there is a message I could send to others experiencing similar issues is once you tap into who you are, that what is out there can no longer tap into you in the same way.

  21. Being met is the greatest healing. I remember the first time I was truly and fully met was when I met and was met by Serge Benhayon and through that met myself. The more I meet myself the more I meet everyone else. It is with and through love that we meet.

  22. We are all love, and when we work from and with love we realise the necessity to look after ourselves, in order to support what we do, and as we take on that responsibility others see that there is another way to work, and we all inspire others to come from love first.

    1. Yes, when you feel the burnout and the consequences of that burnout, you recognise that you cannot fulfill the role you have been asked to do therefore everyone who would have been supported by the work you do loses out. That can be in a bank, or as a carer, same same. Yet when we feel that responsibility there is a different approach and more self care is brought in to ensure burnout does not happen.

  23. I just realised that talking about love in healthcare is like the elephant in the room. It’s so there but no one wants to say the word because what we think love is and all the innuendo attached to it. But yet at the same time it’s there in every moment and in every activity.

    1. It’s crazy that we have so much innuendo and so many falsities attached to the word love, in truth love is so simple and we know it from touch, from a look, from how we are spoken to, and even feel it in the meals that are cooked for us. We need love restored back into every part of life. The craziness of this attitude to love is reflected in our ready acceptance of neglect, roughness and abuse.

  24. “What works as I present to workers across the sector is the reminder that we are ‘enough’ as human beings long before the expectations to achieve.” . . . what a beautiful thing to present to people! I can feel the shoulders drop and the face relax even as I read this. It must have have the same effect on everyone who hears this as it is talking to us on a very deep level.

  25. Being seen as being enough for who we truly are can have a very profound and healing effect. It’s akin to the snowflake that starts an avalanche, very powerful to once again reconnect to who we are and is the greatest gift anyone can receive.

  26. When we do healing, we connect to parts of the body, holding two different energies and the one that remains purer heals and re-ignites the other. Thus, it is not a surprise that people can also start the healing process by re-connecting to those who have seen the true them. It makes perfect sense.

  27. Connection and understanding is just as important as water, oxygen and food. We all need it and it ought to be a basic right. The fact that it is not says a lot about our tendency to focus on what we do instead of who we all are.

  28. Agreed Bernadette, being open to feeling our connection with ourselves and each other it is not rocket science and what’s more is that every single one can bring this quality, of truly meeting another, to all our relationships. From this point of connection, a greater level of truth and love can be honored and lived not only for ourselves but equally so with others. And this is precisely what will bring an end to accepting all levels of abuse that we live for ourselves and we allow between us.

  29. I read an amazing statistic yesterday that in the UK, the NHS is losing 10% of its nurses every year. That is a huge number of nurses. That is 33,000 leaving every year. A common theme is not being able to cope with the stress and succumbing to depression and therefore having to give up the job that they always wanted to do and love. Teaching nurses to love and care for themselves should be an integral part of nurse training, because if you can’t love and care for yourself, you will not be able to love and care for others and you will become part of this awful statistic.

    1. That is some statistic Doug, and I’m sure there are similar ones for other professions like teaching, police force, aged care… not to mention suicide from work pressures. A foundation of self care and self love would benefit everyone everywhere, and from a young age,

      1. Its true, all these professions will have a huge turnover in staff because none of them truly care about their staff viewing them all to be easily replaceable if they cannot cope with the pressures placed upon them. What would the world be like if we introduced love and true caring into these professions?

  30. ‘The essence of what Serge Benhayon presents is that we are all made to express love and to be connected. It is what everyone craves and feels to express. Why do we not say this?’ This is a good question…

  31. Beautiful Bernadette, each and every one of us can make a difference to anothers life but foundational to that our own health and wellbeing must always be honoured for if we care for others at the expense of ourselves the risk of burnout will always increase exponentially.

    1. Also, what are we giving to another if we are tired and exhausted? Personally I think people got irritated, resentful, and as much fullness as a dried out raisin!!! I had no idea this wasn’t normal till I built a deeper relationship with myself. Now the difference is glaringly obvious and I humbly apologise to those I offered the dried out raisin when they could have had a grape 🙂

  32. “We are all made to express love and to be connected. It is what everyone craves and feels to express. Why do we not say this?” – this is a show-stopper question, Bernadette. We keep cheating ourselves and each other by settling for something far less than that, not even daring to ask what it is we truly want. We actually do know when we go after arrangement instead of connection, recognition instead of love that we are never going to get what we truly want and deserve but choose the booby prize instead – fearing what if we didn’t get that and rejected, and I totally did that myself. But the thing is love is already here. We don’t even have to ask for it to be given. It is here and we just have to fall back into that.

  33. ‘The essence of what Serge Benhayon presents is that we are all made to express love and to be connected.’ It is only when we are not this that life can become pear shaped and we get into serious muddles.

  34. I read on a social care company website recently that ‘we believe that the ability to care is a defining human quality’. The point is well made but in truth my feeling is that the most defining quality we have is to be love. Yes, we have made love mean ’emotional involvement’ and hence we are discouraged from expressing it in our work. But love is so innate in us, we cannot just switch it off when we go to work. Attempts to do so distort who we are and lead to a perverse relationship with others. Love is much more than the nice feeling we get about another sometimes. It is a way of being, right from the depths of our hearts that can be – and is being – lived in many lives today. Let’s hear it for love.

    1. Well said Richard. Lets hear it for love and lets start to realise that we must learn to love ourselves first to build the love that we are and then to let it in and let it out and hey presto, we start to live in a different world.

  35. I love how you’ve presented this Bernadette: that we are enough as we are, before any of the things that we do in our lives, and our number one job above anything else, is to remember this, embrace it, and reflect it to others so that they know that, too. Sometimes we want to shut off and disconnect from what we can feel because it’s too uncomfortable or painful, But perhaps the only way forward is to allow ourselves to feel everything, in full, and to know that feelings and emotions aren’t permanent. The way to heal them is to acknowledge that they are there, and to feel them without getting lost in them. Building a connection with our body, to feel what is there and express it and connect with others, is one of the best ways that we can support ourselves to do this.

  36. The beauty of meeting another is felt physically in our bodies. We can feel that once we have made the choice to do so, we settle in our bodies and become clear, honest and attentive. There is nothing more beautiful than bringing this to ourselves and others.

  37. Our bodies and beings are designed to energetically connect – through expression, openness and Love. To avoid, shut off, disconnect or deny true connection with ourselves and others is a huge factor of illness and disease because it’s going against everything the body naturally wants to be.

  38. When love is the focus of how we live, there is richness and vitality that fills our lives with a quality that cannot be compared. I have noticed and experienced how it is the quality of our connection to love, within ourselves first, that brings true enrichment to whatever we do and the relationships we are in be it work, family, friends or otherwise. I am sure we can all reflect on how the truly enriching moments in our lives are the ones where we are met with or touched by heartfelt connections, by love. We all do deeply crave love, as it is love that confirms who we are.

  39. From what I have seen this is true for all of us in all circumstances, “I have always known that what makes the difference in people’s lives is the connection that is made with another human being to then reflect to them the essence of themselves which is love.” When I think back when I was younger or I think of the work I do what holds most is that connection or that relationship with people. I am often saying, ‘that’s what I am here for’ to connect with people and have them connect. For me in life there is nothing greater or nothing I offer more dedication to than this. I can see from people and feel from me that this is what fulfils me and I remember something I always held dear from young was that I wanted to know everyone in the world in this way. I use to think it was silly but now I can see what I was saying, connection.

  40. The world has attempted to corrupt the truth of love, through reinterpretation and misrepresenatation in order to keep us from knowing and living its power. Yet there is nothing to be gained by aligning to the false versions and everything to be restored by living its wisdom and holding of all.

  41. This a very powerful blog Bernadette. Your words . . “We can make a difference. What are we afraid of?” . . . have really struck a cord with me as I realise that once we really do support ourselves by bringing the care and love back to our every aspect of living there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of as nobody can take the knowing of who you truly are away from you and that knowing awakes others to come to know who they truly are. The difference we can make is profound and all that is required is for us to simply be the love that we are and all else will come from this.

  42. You can feel the level of care and love you bring to your work Bernadette. A true service you offer reminding others that they are ‘enough’ well before they do anything. Serge Benhayon as you say is an inspiration in never holding back on delivering the truth, and has inspired many others equally to do the same. Thanks for sharing.

  43. How true, all everyone wants is to be seen and loved for who they are. We remember these meetings as the beautiful example of the woman you describe shows. When we lose connection to the love we are all else in life becomes dull and lack lustre.

    1. Yes true indeed Victoria – when we oppose our connection to love, we lose sense of who truly are in essence, and as such the lives we live are missing the exact quality that we seek to live with – the love we are within.

  44. Thank you Bernadette, very inspiring to read your blog again. It’s so true what you have shared, we all innately want to be met and valued for who we are and not for what we do, to express love and to be met with love, and I agree, with love the crucial missing factor everywhere (home life, work and education etc) why aren’t we all talking more about it?

  45. That sense of feeling separate and disconnected to others leaves us feeling isolated, alone and helpless against the onslaught of the fast paced society that today surrounds us and in many ways engulfs us. This erosion of self also applies to everyone equally no matter if we are the employer, employee or the client.

  46. It feels like we are operating under this unspoken agreement that we uphold this world even though we know its faults and lies and that it’s not working and never going to work. What you are bringing through your work by connecting with people feels amazing. A great example of how truth always finds its way.

  47. We are all made to express love and be connected, and I welcome the day when we all live this again.

  48. Meeting another is simple giving that person your full attention, listening to what they are saying and not wanting to be anywhere other than where you are. It’s quite simple and quite profound.

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