Surviving Overwhelming Burdens

“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.” Theodore 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.

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