S – steals
T – time
R – relationships
E – energy
S – self-worth
S – spirit
We are all too familiar with it. It is in every corner of our life. Once you clean out one corner, you turn around and there is another stressor staring at you, face to face. Many times, there are more than one stressor when you feel you are at your weakest.
Stress in today’s world is much different than in past generations. The advancement of technology has brought along with it a whole new, extensive set of problems. In a day when technology was designed to alleviate stress and make our lives easier…well..it just hasn’t. True, there are great advancements in the medical and science realms to keep us healthier and safer, but as far as in our personal lives, technology hasn’t been all that grand. This is my observation and opinion.
I have enjoyed the reconnecting of friends and family on social media. But I also admit to spending an overwhelming about of time on it anticipating likes and follows, cute emojis, friend requests, connections to the outside world…the list goes on and on. Texting is another issue that has gotten out of hand. Precious time wasted when I should be loving on my family here at home, going out for a walk, taking my dog for a car ride, reading, writing, working on my household “to do” list, or visiting a friend in person. All of these get placed on the back-burner. And no one pays attention to the back-burner.
Stress comes in many forms, not only from our use or misuse of technology. However you want to look at it. We have bills, children, aging parents, special needs, PTSD, illness, death, marriages, divorce, decisions, schedules, deadlines, work, travel. The list is endless. All of these add stress to our lives. Truth is we cannot avoid any of them. They are a part of life today.
Stress affects each one of differently. Some become emotional eaters while others lose weight. Many toss and turn all night. Sweet people become bitter and react verbally with salty, mean words. Some turn to alcohol or drugs as “coping” measures. Others become quiet and hibernate within the recesses of their mind. Some become cutters. Then there are many, just too many, who feel there is no longer hope and no other way to escape the pain associated with stress, so sadly, they opt to take their own life.
Stress steals our time, our relationships, our energy, our self-worth, and our spirit. And most of what we worry about, and all the scenarios we create in our mind that “could” happen, never do. A week from now, a month, five years, or 20, we won’t even remember what stole this particular day from us. But it did. It stole a kiss from our significant other. It stole playtime with our toddler, or a hug from an elderly neighbor. It stole a phone call that should have been made. It stole our best performance at work. It robbed us of time with God. It stole our gratitude. And it broke our spirit. It was relentless of what it took from us or how much debris it left in its path. It took and took and took.
But we allowed it.
I allowed it.
As hard as that is to swallow, it is truth. I had to accept it. How we react to stress is key to survival. We alone are responsible for our reactions, and our actions. That’s not to say we can’t depend on others or on God. I do not believe that we were designed to live independent from each other. We need people in our life even if we feel we are better off alone. It’s an awesome way to obtain balance and solutions. We draw from each other’s strengths. That is the beauty of humankind. There is a wealth of goodness in relationships. I believe this.
I would hate to see the actual percentage of time I have wasted on worry and the crazy scenarios I created in my mind in the middle of the night. I spent a lot of time being angry, sad, anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed. It took away quality time with the people I love most on this earth. And I know I hurt them by being short or sharp-tongued at times. Precious time I lost forever which can never be returned.
You are not alone in your feelings of stress. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your social status is, how much, or how little, money you have, or how many cars are in your garage. No one is above the anguish of stress. Know that you are not alone, there are answers, and many, many others who are struggling the same as you. Use this time to make yourself stronger and more assertive. No matter what you are going through, or have gone through, lift someone else up. Turn your focus and your energy to helping others. That is very healing in itself.
Pray for strength. Pray for vision. Pray for others who are experiencing what you are going through for you know their pain. And I will pray for you.
Stress. We cannot avoid it so let’s accept it and learn how handle it wisely. Help each other. Listen to what someone is “not” saying. Be a good friend.
If you, or someone you know, is in a place of desparation, please know there is help out there. I am enclosing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.
Because someone needs you here.
I am grateful for your visit.
Thanks for sharing a cup with me today.
A special thanks to my friend, MH, who suggested I consider this topic.