Surviving Overwhelming Burdens

surviving overwhelming odds“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; Who strives valiantly; Who errs and comes short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause/who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly.”┬áTheodore Roosevelt

When you feel overwhelmed like when your at the bottom of the barrel scraping your way out, adrenalin kicks in and animal instincts override. Those instincts ensure our safety and survival when we are in the wild and encounter dangerous situations. Defiance may manifest when we are angry at someone and feel squashed by their intrusiveness. Immediately we go into high gear and deflate them with nasty retorts. It does make them back off but we have created probably more problems than we started with. Other times we may be on overload because of our many obligations.

We can decide how to prioritize duties but that doesn’t matter. whatever we choose it gnaws at us for not picking another one. Truthfully no matter what we chose it would feel like it was a bad choice because we could not accomplish all of the tasks at once which is what we wanted to do in the first place. We set ourselves up to fail. We don’t see it but we do. To add a bit of frosting to the cake we even lash out at others in our vicinity because we are so frustrated with ourselves and our inability to fulfill the workload.

This is not just true of the CEO but of anyone with a task to do. Mothers place the most burdens on themselves. They worry they have not spent enough time with their kids, not been gentle enough, read enough books, talked to them enough etc. This annoys them and then they lose their temper with their kids because they are already angry with themselves. We struggle more with defiance than we do with anger. We become defiant and then angry and then fight with someone within range. How do we stop the buildup of our defiance?

I suggest reflecting immediately. Observe the kids or co-workers without any emotional interactions, and make the decision with your clear and logical mind to plan a review later of these mounting responsibilities. It delays anger and anxiety. It keeps the animal instincts from overtaking the thinking mind. It spares others our wrath. Later we may realize it is okay to choose defiance when we are calm. Then we can easily say no to our child even if they hand us a temper tantrum which is their form of defiance. Suggest to the boss rebelliously and in your most subdued voice their is no way to meet the deadline they enforced. They will be surprised and maybe even more respectful of you for stating the truth which they already knew.

Spouses can be irritating. Choose to be defiant by simply walking away while suggesting you can save the fight for tomorrow. It works. Your spouse may think you are attempting humor but whatever diffuses the burdens of life is worth the effort of a solid attempt.

Defiance and non conformity can work for the best if we understand when best to toss it into action. Human instincts monitored by our thinking brain are a better choice than those animal instincts aiding us in surviving our overpowering burdens.

Crush Regret; Seek Courage

Crush regret seek courage“Courage is not limited to the battlefield. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are the inner tests, like enduring pain when the room is empty or standing alone when you’re misunderstood.” Charles Swindoll

So many people were complaining about not having time for this job and that responsibility. It was so bothersome that many were almost immobilized with anxiety. They felt like they just did not have enough energy for anything or anyone. The result was total restraint from accomplishing something.

These individuals believed they did not measure up to others which added more reproach. They believed that if they worked harder or longer or focused more it would make a difference in the outcome.

What actually transpired was they felt defeated. They couldn’t keep going and were going to give up any work they had left undone. It was overwhelming and defeating to the point that they couldn’t continue. If the truth were told, these individuals placed way too much on their shoulders. They didn’t give themselves a break nor did they consider the problems they encountered along their way to success in their endeavors.

It was amazing how on the outside it appeared easy to see that their expectations were high and their considerations to themselves were low. Despite their handicaps they expected more of themselves.

The problem is that we can destroy ourselves in the process because we don’t give ourselves any excuses for failure or lateness in achievement. I know it is admirable to take responsibility but expecting the impossible causes destruction of the mind. Even if we can do it physically, at times mentally it can’t be done.

On days weeks or months like this we need to step back, see the whole forest and not just the tree. Remind ourselves we can’t do the impossible and we do need downtime. Expecting too little of ourselves leads to boredom and laziness, but expecting too much of ourselves can be physically and mentally crippling. We give excuses to others how about allowing the same kindness to ourselves.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

Appreciating Humanity

appreciating humanity“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” Aldous Huxley

I was thinking about how many little things are done for me by others. It made me realize what a great support system I have and how little I have respected it or was grateful. I didn’t want to feel guilty which only sucks energy so I began to mull it over instead.

I thought about how many times others call to check on me or my family, or offer to help me do things I can’t handle myself. I thought about birthday cards surprise visits and friendly texts or e-mails. When I mention I am having a bad time at that moment in my life I am surrounded with support. It may not always come exactly the way I planned but it refreshes soothes and turns my day around.

The mail person who waits for me to walk to my box instead of tossing it in because I am still far down my driveway took the time to acknowledge me as a person. The person in the grocery store who got me another carriage so my bags wouldn’t spill out and then got a person from the store to wheel out the second carriage was awesome. Many times I like to get into the bathroom first in the morning and my husband never complains. I don’t stop to thank him or others for the many nice things that are done for me. I say thank you at the time people do something nice but I don’t really think long or deeply about how wonderful the kindness actually was.

I know if someone is mean to me I review it and go on and on about it until I am sick of thinking about it. I just wondered why I couldn’t savor the kind Acts longer than I agonize over the mean acts. Most people appear to be like me because they do not remember things I did for them yet they will give a noticeable face or remark if I have erred.

I would like someone to explain why we think more about bad things than good things. It seems so ridiculous yet universal. I am beginning to think that it is why we fight with others and cut them out of our lives. It isn’t because of the one small thing that they did to us. It is because we didn’t remember all the wonderful acts they do that go unnoticed. Even my birds that come to the bird feeder give back more to me than I to them. They allow me into their world for awhile and they teach me about trust.

I am so much larger than they yet they land in front of me without fear. They don’t forget who I am or what I have done for them. Why do we as a species forget? I don’t have the answer unless to say we like to argue and fight. I hope that isn’t true but then one must ask how come so many people have problems with so many other people. It has to boil down to simply recalling the thoughtful moments we receive goodness. I need to be more grateful to the core. I need to start trying this today because my mail person just dropped my mail on the ground. I tell myself remember simply remember!

“Write your injuries in the sand and write your assistances in the cement.” Anonymous