Jeepers Creepers… You’d think something as invasive as STRESS, would kindly give you something you’d be happy to receive. But noooo…STRESS has its own ideas.
Sacrifice. Risk. Reward; words not usually associated with our good friend, STRESS. Yet, they often surface as the hidden agendas behind the kind of STRESS that can derail a life. Let’s face it…you’d never actually invite STRESS into your life. It just kinda grows like a weed and wraps itself around the very heart of you.
Most times, you don’t even see it coming and by the time you notice it on your stoop, it has become an unwelcomed visitor. That’s because STRESS follows its own purpose. As you are moving along your life, trying to keep up, show up and grow up, it works hard to pull your attention toward something you don’t want to see. STRESS has lots of creative ways to tap us on the shoulder (or hit us over the head) or nagging headache that comes out of nowhere, or digestive nuisances that make bathroom trips frequent and frantic, or neck pain that stiffens your neck so you can’t turn your head in either direction, or panic attacks that steal your breath and freeze you in place, or maybe you wake up three times a night (if you can even get to sleep in the first place).
Meanwhile, you go through your day wearing your brightest smile and convincing yourself it’s fine. It’s all good…you’re using OTC pain medications, hot packs and anything to settle your stomach. As you move silently into a state of anxiety, worry or depression you begin to sacrifice what you think are the little things; your focus, your direction, you’re sense of peace. You can’t remember feeling true joy since you were five years old.
Then those little things begin to slowly risk the big things. Your health, your relationships, your career, your parenting, your security, your potential. It becomes hard to even know which way is up and short of laying in bed with the covers pulled up for the rest of your life, you’ve got to find a way to get a handle on STRESS’s role in your life. With all the hard work it takes to manage STRESS, there should be some reward…right? There is. I know it may seem hard to believe, but while STRESS is a nuisance, it isn’t infallible. It’s simply one of those annoying speed bumps in life meant to slow you down a bit and make you pay attention to your route. It can’t really cause damage UNLESS you don’t adjust your speed and recklessly drive forward.
For every situation causing life-contrasting STRESS an opposite desire shows its beautiful face. If you can find your way to that sweet state of clarity (stress’s nemesis) your reward is assured. Your self-awareness switch turns ON and once it’s ON, it can’t be turned off. You pay better heed to your emotions, reactions, and beliefs. New profound perspectives take hold that brings on the kind of calm that you admire in others. You learn to make choices that bring you closer to your own alignment; your truest life path. You finally kick self-doubt to the curb of confidence, once and for all. You tuck your own inner wisdom, truth, and voice into your deepest pockets and keep them close and handy. Finally, you invite peace, joy, and humor to take seats on your front porch where they will happily ward off unwanted visitors.
I know you are intrigued, but maybe still skeptical. You’re wondering just HOW, while you struggle in your current state of STRESS, you can actually slow down, pay attention, change direction and ‘let go’ without causing disruption, confusion or making things worse. After all, you’ve been charging full speed ahead for so long, it’s what everyone expects from you now. And, it’s awfully difficult to believe anything can really change.
Well…suspend that doubt buttercup and get real about your beliefs and feelings. Your personal truth really does set you free. Notice. Pay attention to your emotional responses and what’s underneath your stress. The world won’t truly crumble if you need to drop the ball for a bit. Cry ‘Uncle’ when you need to. Start speaking up for yourself. You hold the reigns on your own life and finally, start truly loving yourself and show STRESS the door.