Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stress and Not Taking ‘No’ for an Answer

“Life is only as hard as we make it for ourselves, and only secondarily as hard as others and circumstances make it for us.”

I wrote the above quote in the context of a hugely chaotic workload, a modicum of relational distress and the associated confounding emotions. No one can say this is some cliché-think when it’s presented in such a harshly wrapped mess. It’s dirty, alive and real.

We all relate; every single one. I’m no Robinson Crusoe. Balthasar Gracian called them ‘unlucky days,’ and for the life of us we cannot escape them when we’re in the thick of it. We have a fork in the road to contend with—a challenge. And there are three ways: fight dirty—fight well—flight. Only one—the middle one—cuts it.

Paradoxically, it’s in not taking “no” for an answer that’s a key to getting through and fighting well. Provided we know the way through with some level of self-confidence and self-assuredness we must back ourselves and not let the world back us into a mental, emotional and spiritual corner.

In the milieu of chaos what else can we do? We can’t reasonably let everything pile on top of us; we have to react and respond. We have to fight, but fight well!—assertively, responsibly, adultly. Desperate circumstances call for desperate, high-powered measures, and these measures can only but relieve the heightened stress we’re contending with.

Finally, let’s not discount the cumulating effects of things and the mounting feature of stress. It builds without us noticing most of the time, sometimes over weeks and months—then it’s the little thing like a noisy train going past that makes us snap and bark back at people.

We must find the happy medium that works distinctly, custom-designed, for us.

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

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