Saturday, October 13, 2007

stress

for several day i have struggled with how to put my thoughts and my spiritual viewpoints into words to put onto these pages. i've spent my life working on figuring out my spiritual path and now i struggle to put it into words. please forgive my fumbling in doing so.

i started our conversation about stories, about narratives, because frequently people from my audience come to me seeking help for stress management, sometimes people who are overwhelmed with extreme stress, and i find it difficult to offer help without building an understanding of how we live our story based on our beliefs. a corporate seminar break does not allow me the depth of conversation i would like to have.

what do we tend to believe is the cause of stress? traffic? difficult people? money problems? other things? the truth is, there is one cause of stress, only one, and always the same one. resistance. resistance is the cause of stress.

i am not saying resistance is a bad thing—i’m not even saying stress is a bad thing (i spend enough time in the gym to know that without resistance or stress, we would never develop strength). i am saying, though, that resistance is the cause of stress, and if we want stress management, we must know its source.

here is a simple example: last year my sister-in-law died and i grieved her death (for i loved her very much). one might say i grieved because she died, but the real truth is i grieved because i did not want her to be dead (resistance to her death). it is important to distinguish the difference. her death simply is, and simply is what it is. my resistance to it is what causes my grief.


every time we feel stress or pain, we can ask ourself the question, "what am i resisting?" and we then decide if we want to experience it or not (i chose to experience the grief of the death of a loved one but i choose not to grieve the loss of a job or the loss of some material thing).

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