It’s been a rough couple of years! People are feeling it. Communities, countries, the global community have challenges and threats that are astronomical with limited solutions. In addition, it has become increasingly hard to know who to trust. All this upheaval can sometimes make a person feel – “I Just Don’t Care Anymore!”
(Interesting Picture, don’t you think? The face you see – empty stare, lost hope. The face you don’t see – looking at people, engaged – with a cheerful bouquet.)
What If It’s You Who Doesn’t Care Anymore?
If you find yourself thinking, feeling, or saying – “I just don’t care anymore!” – it’s time to pause. You may have “shut down,” and it helps to explore why this happened.
But let’s start with what should still be there for you. People who still care function in these ways:
- Feel things.
- Talk about issues.
- Get involved.
- Have more energy.
- Are moved by sorrow in their and others’ lives.
- Look for solutions to solve problems.
- Carefully, kindly, respectfully confront, if needed.
- Find ways to rest and refresh.
- Find ways to regain forward movement.
- Seek answers to challenges and hard questions.
- Invest in relationships and don’t give up if there’s a conflict.
- Seek, trust, obey, and enjoy God.
There are additional healthy qualities we could list. But that list provides a starting point for assessing where you are. If these healthy qualities are absent for you, you need a pause. In your pause, if you commit to be deliberate, constructive, honest, and authentic, you can be renewed. Yes, you can care again.
Why You Don’t Care Anymore
Evaluate why you are where you are. Sometimes it’s hard – or even impossible – to assess exactly what has happened inside you. There are so many reasons why you may have stopped caring. Some are common. Others are very individual. Here is a small, starter list of possible reasons why you may have stopped caring.
- Perhaps you’ve been hurt deeply.
- You may feel you cannot persevere a prolonged situation.
- Fatigue may have pushed you into exhaustion.
- Despite much hard work, you may not see the results you were aiming for.
- Life losses may have piled up, and you struggle to get on top of those griefs.
- You are afraid “the other shoe will drop any time” as you consider the future.
- Perhaps a relationship you’ve invested your heart into did not work out.
- No matter how hard you try – how many times you get back up and go after it again – it just doesn’t seem to make a difference.
And so, because of these overwhelming conditions/events, you may find yourself shut down or even in a state of depression. Regardless of how you got here, you no longer care about things that used to matter to you. Some days, you may feel you are barely coping. Overall, you just simply don’t care anymore.
The Flip Switch
There is a little switch inside you that flips OFF when life gets too painful or hard. When it flips, you don’t feel pain as much anymore. You tell yourself you don’t have to keep going. In this place, you start to think there are fewer losses to address. Disappointment slips off and sometimes turn into apathy. Some people settle into a bare-bones approach to survive. This is when you just don’t care anymore.
Every person has a switch like this. It’s actually a safety mechanism of sorts to help you not fall off the edge. Somehow, people instinctively know – in a foggy kind of way – where their edge is. They get really frustrated, scared, desperate, serious, etc. when they “sense” they are close to that edge. Some people get angry. Others finally go for help because they know they don’t have the resources to deal with whatever they might find at their edge. A few stay in this place, feeling desperate and helpless for a long time. For others – their switch flips OFF – and they slip into a condition where they just don’t care anymore.
The goal is to survive, to get beyond the “edge” point, and to become healthy again. And, yes, the goal is to flip your switch back ON again. You can start to care again.
Please don’t stay in the place of not caring. That place changes you – not in a good way. There is help and hope.
Your first reach-out should be God. He absolutely cares about you even if you don’t care anymore. He loves you deeply. And – since He created the human original design – He knows what went wrong for you and how to fix it.
Most communities have programs and counseling services. Explore what options are around you. Pray for guidance and trust God to lead you to the right help.
You can also do some things yourself that often make a real difference. This is what the content of this article is about. You – yes YOU – can invite both help and hope back into your life. You can begin to care again.
We already mentioned the need for a “pause” when you realize you just don’t care anymore. This pause must be deliberate, purposeful. You will never get back to an Alive and Active Life if you don’t determine to get better.
Your value is never in question to God. He equipped you to “make it” in this life. In fact, He’s given you everything you need for life and godliness. (2 Pet. 1:3) This is worth exploring and praying about. YOU are worth a chance at help and hope. Why not invest in your life?
In your pause as you near your edge, you must do some critical things to find your return-to-normal switch. Here they are.
Admit where you are. Say the words – “I don’t care anymore, but I want to. I think I’m close to my edge and I’m scared to death because I don’t know what I will do if I ever get to my edge. I need help and hope.”
2. Turn To God
In this honest, helpless state – turn your heart to God. He loves you deeply. He cares where you are, near your edge, and wants to help. Why not trust Him by coming near Him? It’s a faith thing you do in your heart. He will reciprocate as soon as you even begin to lean His direction. (Jas. 4:8)
3. Turn To God’s Word
God’s Word is “power on paper.” It is Alive and Active – totally applicable to your life. If you ever believed anything, now is the time to believe Scripture. Read it. Memorize it. Claim it for your situation. Apply it practically and accurately (that’s what comes from meditation). Pray it.
4. Pray Into A Place Of Help And Hope
Speak out loud to God. He is with you. Perhaps you would benefit from writing out a prayer. Regardless, respectfully express what is inside you to God. Even if you have negative feelings toward Him, He wants to hear from you. How you talk to Him is a statement about your character. How He meets your faith is a statement about His character. He is faithful – always! How about you?
You are capable of faith. It’s God’s original design. Exercise it. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.“ (Heb. 11:6) You can be faithful. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)
Ask God to help you care again. This might sound too simple. But He can help you overcome fear of caring again. He will teach you how to set good boundaries and rekindle hope. Courage comes from God. Wisdom for problems and relationships starts in God. Healing flows from God. He will help you care again. Will you trust Him?
Listen with your heart to what the Lord is saying to you through His Word. More than any other source of help and hope, you need God. And you need His Word. Here are some ways you can benefit from what He is saying to you:
- Spend daily time in His Word. When you are discouraged, the Psalms are a great place to read. Ask God to open His Word to your heart.
- Write down (on paper or in your device) what He is teaching you.
- Review His teaching with attentiveness and resolve to obey. He’s a good doctor and knows everything that will help you. “Do what the Dr. orders.” Why not trust His help since He is for you?
- Meditate on how to implement what God shows you. Meditate means – picture practical application in your life.
- Rest in His love. Enjoy God – maybe for the first time in your life. Come close to Him by faith.
- Open your heart to receive new things from Him. Welcome His healing, His promises from Scripture, His discipline through any correction.
- Change your thought defaults. What you think about most becomes a kind of “neuro-path highway” in your brain. You thoughts form patterns you establish that you default to first. Why not make your default God’s Word – where help and hope is?
God is enough! He cares and will help you care again.
P.S. You may need medical assistance. Find a good Dr. who has knowledge and invested practice with helping people who struggle with discouragement and/or depression.