We all feel desperate and anxious when people have misrepresented us to others.
We all agonize (or have agonized) over the shortcomings of our spouse/parents/kids.
We all struggle financially.
We all have something health related that we would like to change.
We all worry that we are somehow messing up our lives or the lives of the people around us.
We've all felt a betrayal that changes the fundamental core of how we see people.
Everyone feels these things deep in their gut sometimes and feels them so strongly that the fear of it all threatens to emotionally tear us to pieces, but at the risk of sounding mean or insensitive (because believe me, I am talking more to myself than I am to you), we have to realize that this world and it's problems are not unique to us.
Do you think your husband is the only one with flaws so big they affect both of your lives?
Do you think you are the only person who knows the pain of being betrayed by a friend?
Do I think I'm the only one who struggles so much with my weight?
Do we think we are the only ones who have screwed up so badly?
I think the answer to those questions is sometimes, yes. We do think that. And so in our desperation to try and fix things, we freak out.
But we have to keep our lives in perspective and stop freaking out over everything.
We can feel emotion and feel it deeply. That is not my point. My point is that we have to have thicker skin to make it through life. We can't take our troubles and let them rule over our hearts and in our minds like a stress-spreading disease.
How does that disease look? Well for me, it doesn't LOOK like anything because I don't show it. But I often let things fester and grow in my brain to the point where I find myself continually meditating on negativity rather than positivity.
For you it may look different. Maybe when life gets at you, you stay in bed all day. Maybe you cut off the people around you. Maybe you drink. Maybe you lash out verbally. Maybe you become the victim and try to guilt those around you. Maybe you just complain incessantly to anyone and everyone who will give you a listening ear.
However it looks, we need to realize that when we let these very normal, very common stresses overtake our mental and physical well being, the problems that result are going to usually be significantly worse than what the core issue was to begin with.
I am significantly overweight. I know that poses major health concerns. But I bet that the amount of mental stress I have put myself through over the years has probably caused more significant problems than the weight itself.
I bet the constant picking and pointing out of flaws to your spouse is making them like you even less, thus increasing the likelihood of them not changing.
I bet the issues surrounding the guilt you feel over that REALLY big mistake you made is actually more damaging than the mistake itself.
Whatever cliché you want to use right now, you can use it. Let Go and Let God...sure. Jesus Take the Wheel...o.k. God is in Control...He is! God won't give you more than you can handle...It's Biblical. All of these work but they are all useless unless you honestly, deeply, and actively apply them not just to your thoughts but to your actions.
So shake yourself by the shoulders. Snap your fingers in front of your face a few times. Take a deep breath and take it down a notch. It's all gonna be o.k. Even if your worst fear is realized...if you are trying your best to walk the right walk -
You're. Going. To. Be. Okay.
"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9