I've been thinking about that incomparable little twit of the emotive world. You may know him- he's the stupid little minion that we always end up visiting with, no matter how much we detest his unfortunate whim's and desires. We find all kinds of ways to avoid him- yoga, vacations, bubble baths- anything to take the time that he wants to spend with us away from him. And yet somehow, despite all our modern world distractions, we never seem to get away forever- he always comes wheeling back in.
Have you figured it out yet? I'm talking about stress.
Stress and I have a long relationship- we've been close to each other for years. No matter how hard I work to avoid him, he seems to always seep back into my life. I suppose I might be predisposed for stress- I am, after all, a jewish woman, who lives in a fast paced place, who fills up a good deal of my time with obligations and business. Or maybe it's just that I am an overachiever who desires to have things go perfectly. One friend that I have insists that any stress we feel right now is related to the holiday season- she's got a countdown until the end of the stress days. Whatever the truth of the matter is, I'm working on overtime to avoid him at this point- even cutting out people and activities that might bring me closer to my old friend stress.
I believe that stress becomes bigger and more important in our lives when we feel helpless or overwhelmed with things that we can control or change, or things that we feel we should be able to control or change. We need to feel like we are on certain tracks when it comes to that which means something to us. It's a struggle to figure out where we really can make change and where we can't. And sometimes, when we make assumptions or take responsibility for something that doesn't actually fit into that category, we start to feel the achy, sweaty, unstoppable stress creep back up on us.
Of course, the things we think we have control over are much more numerous than those we actually do have control over. We want to be in charge of every element of our days, but life happens in it's own schedule, and takes no regard for our pleas for responsibility. Many times, I know that I am guilty of being stressed over things that,I reality, I cannot change and could not have foreseen or made any difference in. I can't control others who impact my life. I can't control the weather. I won't impact the bus schedule. I can't control the world around me.
But I can control my stress.
To be plagued by worry, to wonder about what might have been, to spend time dwelling on other endings, these are things that make us miss life. And let's face it- life is short enough as it is.
On a final note, I believe that God does everything for a reason. I am confident that His plan is bigger than me or my ideas. I know that He uses all things for the purpose of His will, and for the good of me, who loves him.
Dear stress- you can choke on that.