Blog: I’m Feeling Stressed… Again.
I’m feeling stressed… . Again.
It’s not a feeling I enjoy, and unfortunately, it’s been quite common lately. I keep telling myself that the reason I feel stressed is money, but the truth is that money is just the device that’s triggering “something” that results in my feeling stressed. I believe that “something” is my relationship to the unknown.
The thought that triggers my stress is a question: “How am I going to make it all work out?” And what’s funny, even ironic, is that I constantly tell people that everything always works out to the highest good. It’s the belief that shapes my perspective every day. And yet it seems to be the lesson that I am still yet to learn.
Why do I feel stressed on this particular day? The first reason is financial. I’m looking at our cash flow and I see a lot of money coming in and a lot of money going out. We have three kids in private school, a mortgage, and healthcare for a family of five. We have a growing business and a staff to help it grow. And it’s now the holiday season, and there is additional pressure to buy presents to make the holiday special. There’s also additional pressure to do something fun over the holiday break (which also costs money), otherwise the kids will be sitting around in front of their computers and phones all day.
So in order to make the money to pay for all of financial requirements, my brain turns to my to-do list. It is full of exciting projects that are fun, fulfilling and designed to help others. I love what I get to do every day and I’m so confident and excited about the future that we’re creating. And yet, the to-do list feels somewhat never-ending… Like the mythological hydra, I cut the head off of one to-do and two others show up in it’s place. And to get it all done, I need to step away from my family… which is totally the opposite of what I want to be doing… especially during the holiday season. But how do I be with my family, having fun, doing things that cost money, while trying not to think about all things that are waiting for my attention, all the people that are waiting for my attention, and while not asking myself the question… “how am I going to make it all work out?”
The irony, again, is that I know the answer. It is all going to work out. It always does. I don’t know exactly how, but I know that it will. The bills will be paid. The holidays will be wonderful. The items on the to-do list will get done. I’m 48 years old, and there is nothing that I’ve experienced that shows me that it will ever be any different.
So why do I feel the stress? When I look at the question “How am I going to make it all work out?” The first thing that jumps out at me is the word “I”. There is a misunderstanding that it’s all my responsibility. When I can step out of the stress of the moment, I remember that there are an infinite number of other factors that are supporting me to have everything work out. God. The Universe. My family. My friends. Luck. Coincidence. So many things… It’s not just on my shoulders. Even my shoulders aren’t all my responsibility. They are made up of cells and bacteria that are using nutrients from external sources and air from trees and energy from the sun… so even the thing that I define as “I’ isn’t just me. It is not all my responsibility because I am part of so much more.
The second thing that jumps out at me is the word “How”. There is no way to know “How”. Even if I think I know how something will go, it always is different than my imagination and expectation. Because life is full of so many unknowns, I long to have a sense of control, a sense of knowing, a sense of truth… I guess that knowing “how” could provide that for me, but I also know it’s an illusion that I cling to. The truth is that “how” it will work out is determined in real time in a series of infinite moments weaved together by the invisible thread of time.
I think the real question that I’m asking myself is “Will it work out?” Not ‘how” and not “how will I”? But simply will it all work out in the way that I want? And the answer is yes and no. It will work out. It always does. And it always works out differently that we ever could imagine which is the beauty and magic of life. So the unknown is known… it just requires faith and trust and belief.
So what do I do about the stress? In the mental realm, I write this letter and know that it will all be okay… it will all be wonderful as a matter of fact. In the physical realm, I schedule time to get to my to-do list, be present with my family, and do my best to be a present husband, father and businessman. In the emotional realm, I forgive myself for all of my judgments. I forgive myself for judging myself as a failure, as a bad parent, as a bad businessperson. I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that I should have everything handled perfectly and that everyone else besides me does. And finally in the spiritual realm, I close me eyes, breath, connect to my heart and remember my truth… that I am not alone, that the entire universe is supporting me… as a matter of fact, that I am not separate from the universe and we are all part of one thing… beautiful, loving energy that expresses itself in this life in so many miraculous ways.
As I write this, I am surrounded by the people I love and those who love me. All the proof that I’m looking for is all around me. How am I going to make it all work out? It’s a flawed question… if it’s all happening exactly how it’s supposed to, it doesn’t work out or not work out… it just is. And I choose to have faith and trust and belief that the way it is is beautiful and perfect and joyful…. and I am part of it being that way.