I am giving up stress.
OK, so this sounds a bit odd. I know. But honestly it makes sense, let me explain!
At church this past Sunday, the reading was about Jesus going out into the desert for the 40 days. I was holding that image in my mind, thinking about the past few days where I have been in tears or on the verge of tears many times, starting with last Friday. Part of me was crying in prayer that I was just feeling that I couldn’t handle all of this. I couldn’t do it. Note there are, thank heaven, no big crises here – it is just the rather extreme business of life right now, having DH working away for a long period, teaching full time, and having 2 much beloved children who still need a lot from me, and to whom I would like to give more … but there is only so much I have to distribute among all that I must do.
So, I was holding this image of Jesus in the desert in my mind, me being there also, tears flowing. And Jesus looks and me and asks why am I carrying so many burdens? He hasn’t given these to me; why have I taken them on?
Hm. The next image was of me getting rid of backpacks, bags, parcels – shedding them all as quickly as possible to feel light and strong again – and then to pray that I only take on those burdens that I am meant to do.
Part of this is to not be just in the nick of time for things, which is my usual m.o. As you can imagine it sometimes leads to being late, which is stressful in itself, and then I always feel rushed and stressed and anxious. My goal now is to be 5-10 min before the ultimate latest time I can leave, and when I arrive with those few minutes, to take the time for a quick bit of prayer or connecting with God somehow. This part of the resolution comes thanks to CM’s blog post (http://catholicmutt.blogspot.com/2012/02/lent.html), which mentions that the things we do ought to somehow give us more time, or more attention to God. So being on time or early and reducing my stress, while good, doesn’t seem as much for Lent as using those few minutes in prayer.
It’s early days yet, but I can tell you I feel so much better now than I did a week ago. All kinds of routines are being re-jigged (including having lunches prepared and ready the night before – hard to do when I am tired and just want to go to bed, but a godsend in the morning.
One step at a time, I suppose ….