Stressing it.

I am normally a healthy person, but a trip to the doctor the other day informed me that I have  higher stress level than before. Causing me tension headaches, neck-aches, and back pains all over.

It sucks because stress is a vicious cycle. You stress until you get symptoms; then you stress about getting those symptoms; so of course you do; and so on.

Since my family moved, I’ve had one difficulty after another and I guess the new job was just the icing on the cake. Maybe the straw that breaks the camel’s back would a be a better analogy, cakes are supposed to be fun.

Actually, back when I was not saved, I had stress symptoms all the time. Only I have a feeling the doctors would have sent me straight to a psychologist, who in turn probably couldn’t have done anything, because my fears were irrational, and pretty far beyond what most psychologists would be able to handle.

I don’t mean any disrespect to them, but no one without a spiritual understanding of things could have understood my fears. To them it would be all mental, but it wasn’t.

Anyway, as I’ve shared before, I would feel sick to my stomach, shaky, and cramp up. I don’t recall getting headaches then, but now that I put more weight on my neck and back it makes sense that the tension is settling there.

I am not now one to stress out on purpose. Maybe some of you can relate, you don’t feel like you’re stressed, but you feel the signs of it. Maybe we’re just disconnected from our emotions. I’ve never been the best at knowing what I felt unless it was fear.

And my fear isn’t like it used to be. When I was a kid, my fear was right up in my face. Now that I know better, fear tends to hide from me so that I’m barely aware I’m feeling it until something pushes me tot he breaking point.

The last mission trip I went on, I had no idea just how much stress and fear I was feeling until I had an upsetting exchange with another person there. Then it just set off a wave of sickness and panic. Ugh, I hate even remembering it. But I didn’t have any serious ailments while I was there.

So my question is, still, why am I stressing out?

I know why.

I’m afraid to fail.

Maybe I want to prove something to people who’ve said I couldn’t make it in the real world. Maybe if I get sick and can’t bear up under the load, they will think they were right, or I at least miss my chance.

Maybe deep down, I have doubts about how well I’ll make it out there in the real world. Even if strictly speaking, I’ve been in the real world all my life.

I’m also afraid to succeed. Most of us are. That’s because if success comes, we have to live up to it, and improve even more. If you already doubt you can handle level one, how will you be during level 2, 3, 4…?

But what all of us are really doing by thinking this way is submitting to the mindset that we grew into. Most of us didn’t have great family backgrounds growing up, even if you’re like me and had an exceptionally good family, they still weren’t perfect. Neglect happens in some areas, if only because circumstances often prevent certain needs from being met. My social life suffers now from distance and a lack of transportation. That’s no one’s fault, but it still causes a gap in my life.

Maybe for you it was higher education because your family could barely pay rent or buy food.

Maybe it was isolation because everyone was super busy and you didn’t have friends for whatever reason. (I think it’s luck more than anything else sometimes.)

You fill in the blank, we all had something.

And that something gave us a box that we call our comfort zone.

Mine involves using my mind more than my body, and relying more on my ability to figure out problems than to deal with people. I can fake being a good epople person, but beneath it all, I’m just an introvert trying to act like I enjoy doing this.

Which is not to say it’s a total act. I do sometimes like talking to people, making connections, and helping them. But it wouldn’t be my choice if I had another, you see what I’m saying?

My work exhausts me emotionally and physically. Yet I need more hours if I want to make enough money to even pay tuition for one year, or buy a car, or whatever.

This is just my own little problems. You all can think of dozens more of your own. We all have cares that we sometimes worry aobut.

Yet, hard as it is to admit, worry is a choice. And we can choose something else.

For me, it’s faith. Do I believe God will fulfill the work He has started?

If that sounds too churchy and like empty repetition, then I would just say it like this:

God hired me, so to speak. (We are his fellow workers, Ephesians says.) He is not looking to fire anyone, but to promote them. So why would He stop coaching me till I’m learned how to do what He wants me to do?

God is a better boss than any mere mortal, because He doesn’t need you to make His company run, He just just needs you to fill one spot in it.  No pressure.

No pressure. That’s a thing I’ve been thinking about quite a bit.

Well, talking helps.

Until next time–Natasha.

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