Written by Steve Stutzman
DTL... not sure what else to call it - the Desire To Live.
The “sweet energy juices” of life, as my daughters call it.
This is what makes you want to get up and go, and what seems to be absent when your ‘get-up-and-go’ done got up and left.
There seems to be quite a bit of this available at early ages, especially among youngsters with tired mommies.
As one moves through youth into adulthood, the supply becomes more measured. That is when a person becomes aware of the wisdom of this statement: Be careful how you use up your DTL, because when it is gone, it is gone.
DTL is expended in several ways, with common work being the most obvious. Work hard all day, and you get exhausted, and just want to sit, because your DTL is running low.
Relationships also suck out DTL, especially relationships that TAKE and don’t give back.
Relationships with needy, DTL-bankrupt people can leave you about as drained as a marathon, maybe more.
People who have turned into robotic, performance-oriented, emotionally low-level, relationless individuals, sometimes can deplete the DTL of others simply by being in the same place. Working with hurting people drains out about as much DTL as anything I have found.
Travel takes out a significant amount of DTL, and increases its depletion proportionately as time zones are crossed.
When we go on extended ministry trips, we have learned to schedule days at the end for “crash” days. It differs for each of us in the family, but one of the first 3 days home will be a real tail-dragger for someone.
It can be ‘pushed past’ if completely necessary, but is done so at the expense of future days. In such cases, the DTL is simply being borrowed from a future date... and that date is then depleted.
It is my persuasion that this is the primary reason for the thing called “burnout” . . . people borrowing DTL from the future over a long period of time and ending up bankrupt.
DTL can be artificially exaggerated and overstimulated to the point of exhaustion also. This is often done by drugs or substance abuse of some sort. Ultimately, there will be a crash, very often a physical one as well as an emotional meltdown.
Because DTL exists in limited supply, people have to portion it out carefully.
The housewife tries to find enough to feed hungry mouths, then to reach around to hungry relationships with each person, with enough left over to clean up the kitchen, make her husband feel loved, sweep the living room, do a little laundry and not collapse.
Very often, the need to accomplish a certain amount of work turns men into workaholics with nothing left to give in relationships.
Not being DTL conscious, men have a notion that relationships should just “exist” with no need for DTL to be poured into them.