Don’t Read If You’re Too Blessed to be Stressed

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Some handle stress better than others. But denying we’re stressed so we’ll be thought more spiritual might mean we need our heads examined.

Pretend or get real?

My choice is the latter.

I can’t hang with the too blessed to be stressed crowd, and loathe easy cliches. Unless we live on a tropical island with a paid mortgage, perfect health, every relationship filled with joy, where crime-wars-poverty-and-disasters never hit – well, life gets rough. Our tendency to shield and insulate makes sense when we’re feeling overwhelmed. I’ve just never understood the purpose of spiritual cliches.

Stress mounts. Energy plummets. Coping mechanisms aren’t at all what they’re cracked up to be. One phone call, diagnosis, or job loss can cause life to cave. We’re facing hard battles, each one of us. We’re blessed, and we know it, but we’re living in earthsuits susceptible to wear and tear.

One of our healing co-factors is transparency.

To come as we are means no more pretense. No more bandaid ministry to each other. Transparency eases the stress of guardedness and self-protection. Once we land among safe company, we begin to heal. We can relax and simply accept where each of us are on this journey. When God shows us Christ in each other, we’re less about judging and more about loving support. This ripple effect breeds health. When a sister or brother stumbles from the stress of life, we don’t spout veiled condemnations, we give a hand. Mostly, we give our heart.

Other healing cofactors are rest, hormone balance, and brain nutrients.

In the physical, we forget that our hormones and brain chemistry all vary with milage. Chronic stress depletes us. If we come unglued, it might be less about missing our quiet time, more about the lack of sleep and skimpy diet. Too many times we’ve carried spiritual guilt about attitudes, behavior, or feelings, not realizing our brains or adrenals were whacked. Some have suffered for years with imbalances that even good doctors failed to address. How can we cope when our brains and bodies are crying for help?  We may get down on ourselves and want to give up. We isolate. We cry. We suffer in silence.

Well, here’s a cliche I will use:

Knowledge is power.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, out of control, or desperately blue – it’s not necessarily a spiritual problem. Years of irritability, mood swings, lack of motivation, anxiety, tears, insomnia, and dark depressions nearly did me in. Life slipped me by. I couldn’t join in. Well-meaning folks lectured me about bible-reading when I couldn’t even concentrate. But then I began to find answers. I’m compiling common-sense tools to get my life back, thank God, and you can, too.

There’s a reason some of us handle stress better (or worse) than others. Maybe the too-blessed-to-be-stressed crowd has more seratonin. Or estrogen. Or the guardian hormone, progesterone, which calms the nervous system. All I know is, where folks lack compassion and grace, we’ll find comfort in the truth. Where they lack understanding, there is One who knows our frame. If you struggle this way, you’re no less spiritual than anybody else. There is an emotional rescue plan and we’ll talk about it later.

Reflection: 
Are you experiencing chronic stress? Do you sometimes badger yourself or want to give up? Maybe you’re not up to par and want to share.

I’m praying for you today and so appreciate your being here.

Your sister sojourner,

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Second Journey Scribe

Second Journey Scribe

Living the journey. Telling the story.

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Comments

  1. Amen, I admit to being stressed sis.

    • Oh, Shortybear, hard not to feel stress with all you and Lovebug have gone through these past many months. Know that I care. Know that I’m praying even now…we need each other…hugs….

  2. Hoo-boy! You’re singing my song! Some days in the no-so-distant past I thought stressed was my name!

    Love you, gal! Thanks for letting Louise vent!

  3. I feel like you’ve been looking in on my life and writing it all down. Wow. This is absolutely how I feel! I’ll let you in on a secret: I feel free here. I can join the chorus without people looking at me saying, “get a grip-calm down-spend more time in the word.” Etc, etc, etc.
    Yes, I need to do those things, and pray constantly that God will intervene.
    Love the expression “earthsuits”. What an apt description!

    • Shauna, it’s amazing how much women are alike in how we feel and struggle. Maybe that’s why it’s so helpful to speak our truth and connect. While we help each other be real, God does a work. We really don’t need to be told to have a quiet time…we’re learning to live and move and have our being in Him. Love your input, Shauna. You bless us all.

  4. I had one of those sleepless in California nights..Great post and so true, I’d rather be real too!

  5. I don’t know exactly why, but this post reminds me of a Nicholas Cage movie (can’t remember the title) in which Cages character suffered with OCD. His girlfriend put up with his quirky ways for a while, and then one day she said, “No. We’re not doing this anymore.” And she walked with him through the terror of stepping on sidewalk cracks, leaving the door unlocked, and not checking to make sure the stove was off.

    I’m an optimist and I’m married to a pessimist, who slips easily into depression. Stress intensifies both. He works in a high stress job situation. Stress has blown out his adrenals. Depression zaps his strength.

    For years I stood on the sidelines of his life and cheered him on to wellness like a perky aerobics instructor — Rah, rah, sis-boom-bah! Come on, you can do it! One more time! Way to go! Woooooo- hoooo!!!!

    One day he told me how much he resented my peppy encouragement. You can probably guess what I said…”Fine. You figure it out.”

    He did.

    So did I when peri-menopause nearly destroyed my health and sanity and left me unable to “fake it ’til I make it” like I wanted my husband to do all those years. Panic attacks turned into anxiety disorder. My thyroid went off the charts high, then the doctors killed my thyroid, and I went from bouncing off the walls to a slug with wonky hormones. While I never was depressed to the level my husband had been, I did reach the end of my “bootstraps” and couldn’t pull myself up.

    I fired my doctors, found one who balanced everything, and I felt like myself, but never have returned to a life of being overly busy. I live very slow (some would call it boring), don’t accomplish a quarter of what I used to in a day, but that is good for me. It works for me.

    • Hi BeingBeth,

      I think I remember that Nichols Cage movie ;-) Might have to see it again. Hey, what you’re saying is exactly on key, and your husband a good example. Some of us – for various reasons – need more than a spiritual pep talk. Your own experience is a real eye-opener …and that’s what I’m talking about! There comes a time when pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps will.not.work. Self-effort goes against the grain of grace, anyhow. Sure hope you’re doing better. My life was never the same once they removed my thyroid. Takes a good doctor to address underlying adrenal/stress issues, and now, in my case, cardiac stuff. So glad you’re doing what works for you! Thanks for sharing.

  6. This is just so encouraging and beautiful! All the time, the thought comes into my mind, I know I can share with Jesus but who can I talk to here on the spinning earth! I’m finding out there is actually others who will listen and not judge. They understand..most of them are going through the same thing or something similar. I actually think everyone is! Just some are willing to admit and open up about it and others..not so much, but I won’t judge them either because they are hurting and scared just like me. I have tons to say but I won’t hog! Thank you for helping us know we are not in this all by ourselves.

    • Hi, Gloria, and welcome to Second Journey Scribe. It’s been great getting to you know you on the FB sister page. You’re always welcome to share your heart to whatever capacity you feel comfortable.

      This site is still a work-in-progress, but what makes it beautiful, really beautiful – are the women’s thoughtful responses and willingness to open up. The ladies who frequent this site are tender, loving souls – all dealing with their own stuff, all compassionate, wise, and understanding and patient because they’ve either been there, or they’re going through it. We are not alone, Gloria. Feel free to pop over and visit anytime. Sign up for email posts if you like. Never any pressure. All is grace.

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