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Friday, August 10, 2018

One Degree off Center: Just Enough to Throw Us Off


I heard someone recently characterize the how sometimes it doesn't take much to separate a person from his or her serenity.  His phrasing was "One Degree off Center".  That struck me as a very apt characterization.  This actually feeds into an idea that crystallized for me as it relates it to stress and worry. 

I've observed in my life and that of others a funny phenomenon.  They are hit with a significant negative and they are seemingly able to shrug it off.  Yet, the same person is hit with a relatively insignificant negative (often easy to recover from--a one degree off center negative).  They literally fall to pieces or have their serenity totally disrupted.  As with everything else in my blog, I have a take on this phenomenon.

I have literally avoided doing much research for what I write about as I want what I write to be organic vs. ideas and thoughts I literally lift from elsewhere.  It was suggested to me that I could strengthen my blog by doing more direct citation.  That is to say, take the kernels of an idea that comes to me, pop them, remove the ones that are burnt or unpopped and flavor it with it citations.  But, at this point I will stick with my 'tried and true' method, which is to write mostly from my soul.

Back to the point at hand.  Why do we shrug when we are hit by a big negative and get stuck on the seemingly small things.  I have a thought on that: It is our sense of control.


  • When a circumstance is well beyond our control and it is abundantly obvious to us, there is a sense that there is little point in fretting about it as there is no humanly way possible that will affect the outcome of it.
    • When my car was wrecked at the beginning of 2017, I had been worrying about keeping it in good running order for another year or so.  I'd hoped it would hold out, but I was nervous that miles were piling up on it.  This had been in the back of my mind for a while.  When another driver caused a wreck which destroyed my car, literally everything else was thrown by the wayside.
      • I no longer had to worry if the car would hold out another 30-40 miles  That choice/concern was taken away from me.
      • I no longer worried that day about making it to work on time.  It was pretty clear that I needed to go home and rest.
      • I figured that their insurance would pay for it and I'd just get a new car.
  • When a circumstance appears to be within our ability to influence or control it is easier to focus on it.  
    • I was fairly sure I left my iPod at work vs. having permanently lost it, but I didn't to drive all the way there to get it.  So, despite my best efforts, I had focused on it on and off over the weekend, hoping that I was right about it.  I was right as I did leave it at work.  I wasted my time worrying on something small because it appeared to be in my control.  

In the first point, it was totally obvious I was thrown completely off center, so I had the sense that I just needed to turn to side or turn around and I'd be back at where I'd need to be rather than trying to make a minute adjustment.  In the second point, I was very close to center, but I couldn't quite get there.  Rather than having to make a large and obvious adjustment, I only needed a slight adjustment to the circumstance to be back at center.  Unfortunately, it would have taken some effort to get back to center--driving an hour and a half to get to and back from work.  So, the one degree off center that that situation was causing me was worse anxiety in some ways than completely having to go from scratch to get a new car did.


Moral of the story: Be willing to give up the worry about that which you believe you can control.  Because a) the sense of control often is an illusion anyway and b) somethings just don't make a difference in the bigger picture.

Just my 1/50th of a dollar worth here.

-- Rich

Life's Destinations and Stops Along the Path.

I was talking to a now former fellow employee recently and she let me know she was moving on from her job from our employer. She was telling me that she had reevaluated her priorities and determined the time was right to consider her options.  I asked her about how she came to the conclusion.  I won't reveal much of the conversation except to say she felt like it was a move she had to take for multiple reasons.  One was financial, but even more important to her was that her new position gave her the sense that she'd make more of a difference in the lives of others.  She gave me a bit of her history or path to this position.  It made me ponder why she didn't hadn't made a beeline to the new position in when she had applied to my work.  In other words, if she felt like this new position would be more in line with her 'need' to make a difference, why didn't she go in that direction first.  Inasmuch as her new position will be a different sort of job, I had also wondered how she felt about her current position.

Her responses paraphrased included:
  • I have learned a lot from my current position.  In other words, while it may not be ultimately where felt she was called to be, it wasn't like she wasted her time.  She learned a lot and helped others to the extent she was able to.
  • Personal circumstance opened me eyes as far as what is important to me.  She had a recent tragedy in her life and that focused her attention on what was important to her.
I respect that and it also got me to thinking that it is so easy to second guess why we didn't see the obvious earlier.  Hindsight is said to be 20/20 for a reason.  It is also easy to ignore or forget the fact that we weren't ready for the situation or the situation wasn't ready for us.  Sometimes, we have to make another stop before we get to the destination we need to be and sometimes we have to have a game-changer in our lives to push us in a direction that we didn't have the courage or motivation to go.  And just sometimes, a seemingly small ripple can eventually become a wave.

A few examples:
  • I bought tickets to a sold out show for my now ex-wife's birthday.   On the way to the concert I lost the tickets.  I didn't really realize it was sold out and I figured I'd get more tickets.  However, when we got there, they were turning people away who didn't have tickets.  I felt awful and made a commitment to her that if the band came into town again I'd get her tickets to it.  
    • As Aerosmith was taking their sweet time making it back to St. Louis, I looked where they were touring and I saw Las Vegas and I got this idea?   Why not see them in Las Vegas and taking in Las Vegas.
    • I loved the rental car I drove much more than my own car.  I realized I'd rather have that car.  After holding out two months, I finally caved and traded in my car for a car just like the rental.
    • One seemingly small event--the loss of tickets, led to a trip to Vegas and trading in my car.
  • It was 2016 and my wife was pushing me to trade-in or replace my 10 year old car.  I was bound and determine to hold on another year to it, even if I had to dump more money into it.  I hated the car, but I was determined to work on fixing my credit more.  I had this plan in place as of January 5, 2017 that I would wait until the beginning of next year (2018) to get a new car and would keep the old car as a 2nd car to offload some of my annual miles (30K+)
    • One day (January 5, 2017)  on the way to work on snowy, slightly icy day, the driver in front of me spun out around a curve, hit the wall and came to dead stop.  By the time I got around the curve in the road and saw her, it was too late.  In one instant my best laid plans came to a crashing stop (literally).
    • I had to replace the car immediately.  I got a new car, but was unhappy as I didn't have the 2nd car I had planned. (2016 Ford Focus Titanium).  This led me to get a 2nd car that was 7 years old.  (2011 Mazda 3 GT)
    • I like the 2nd car engine and handling so much I wished I'd had the new version of that car as my first car.  After about 6 months, i traded in my 2011 Madza 3 GT for a 2018 version which had the fun of the 2011 version and the features of a new car.
    • So, in one instant, I went from having a 10 year old car to eventually having 2 newer cars.  Who'd have thought?
    • I was injured for the better part of 2017 from the accident and that led me to be aware of people's reckless driving. 

Now these examples aren't tragic, though the injury related to accident was rough.  My point is this.  Sometimes we have plans and we have goals (and sometimes we don't even realize them fully), but we don't always get to the destinations we are going to directly.   We sometimes take detours.  I was gong to get a new car and have a 2nd car, but I was going to do it on my own time or so I thought.  I wasn't ready for a new car.  I was stuck in the punishment myself (by driving an old beat up car) for having to declare bankruptcy after divorce mode.  It literally took a crash course in crashing to break that mode.


My former coworker was eventually going to get a teaching job (destination), but she didn't know it at the time.  She had to first have a layover at my employer (stop over) and than a tragedy in her life (catalyst for the change).   She had moved from her previous employer to a similar position at my employer and clearly that where she felt she was right for.  It took a tragedy to realize that my employer was a stop along the way rather than her destination.  She could have said, her new job is what she should have 'always done', but she chose to view our employer as a good stop along the way from which she learned from and which gave her time to figure out what she needed.

-

As we get used to seismic shifts in our life, we take for granted how we got there.  Sometimes we get there gradually and we have time to adjust, but sometimes they happen in an instant and we just have to immediately adjust to a new reality.  There can be a sense that the shift was to a place that was 'always' going to be our destination or destiny.  But, it wasn't always that clear.  How we got there may ultimately be a result of a small change (losing concert tickets) or a larger one (losing a loved one) that changes our trajectory.

Sometimes we think where we shifted to is our 'true' destiny or destination, but as we get older and look back we can also see that it was always just a stop along the way. 

I guess ultimately my point is this: Life changes sometimes whether we want it to or not.  Sometimes it is in an instant, sometimes it is gradual. It may be a 'destiny' or a stop along the way.   Sometimes it is change we see we needed for a long time (and we can condemn ourselves about it with the clarity of 20/20).   But whatever the case, I think it is important to be open to and embrace, even if it is painful a new reality.  Even if it is somewhere we don't want to be, we have to always remember, in time it may be where we need to be or it may be a pathway to where we will be.

Just some random musings on changes in life....


Friday, July 20, 2018

Life: A Highwire Act

I was talking with a coworker today about my mornings when I have my daughter and need to drop her off before work.  One thing she noted was that she has a checklist of things she needs to do before the kids are out the door and to where they need to be.  I too  have a mental checklist of things I need to do:

  • Make sure she's awake and stays awake.
  • Make sure she takes a shower if necessary and gets dressed.
  • Make sure she takes her medicine
  • Make sure she has breakfast or knows where she can get it--packing it if we are short on time.
  • Take a shower and get ready and get dressed.
  • Feed my cat his medicine
  • Pack myself and her a lunch.
  • Feed my cat his medicine.
  • Make sure her backpack is packed and whatever needs signed is signed.
  • Make sure I have everything I need.
  • Make sure everything we need is taken out to the car.
  • Kiss the wife goodbye and say bye to the kids if they are awake.
I'm sure I'm probably forgetting something, but I have to do all that in roughly about an hour.   That's just one part of my regular routine and by the time I drop her off, making it in about 80 minutes after I left, I feel worn out.   Suffice to say, I have to keep track of a number of things and make sure to stay focused.

Sometimes my wife is wide awake for this and sometimes she's resting.  I have such a routine going where everything is done in the same order.   If she's awake she sometimes tries to ask me if  I remember this or that.  Sometimes it's okay and sometimes I tell her, don't worry I'll let you know if I need help.  It might come across as being an ingrate or being brushed off, but I finally found the words to communicate what it is like in the morning to my wife.

Mornings are like a high-wire act.  I take one step at a time going from one end of the wire to the other end--that is to say I methodically check items off my checklist from the moment I wake up to the moment I start my commute.  I'm very focused an on task, but very intense, just like someone who would be crossing the high-wire.  Sometimes, when she intervenes, it breaks my rhythm.  I forget my place and have to readjust.   Just like if I was on a hire-wire and out of nowhere a person appeared in front of me on the other side.  It could startle me for a moment enough to throw off my balance.  I would quickly have to readjust, factor in the person on the other side and continue my progression to the other side.

So, if your significant other seems to 'reject' your help, especially in crunch situations, don't necessarily take it personally.  He or she just might have their own of coping with the situation.  Maybe after he or she has had time to exhale they can explain.  Perhaps if he or she realizes that the situation is hopelessly beyond their control they will know to reach out for hope.  Just my thoughts and realizations for the day.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Considering others, but answering only to my Higher Power (God)

The 'wisdom' of years & experience can be a double-edge sword in terms of perspective.   You can be so tied to the 'old order of things'--not realizing for example that Separate But Equal is really Separate and Inherently Unequal.  You are so tied to the old order of things that when the enlightenment plane comes along, you don't think it is your flight.   In reality, though the destination had changed, it was still the flight you needed to take.  On the other hand, as a seasoned 'flyer' in life's journey you have seen flights diverted, delayed or cancelled (rhetorically) and you know life like flights change.  Even if you don't totally recognize or understand the change, you at least recognize the need to adjust.

As I am fast approaching the mid-century mark in my life, I can see some of the old ways of counseling and behavioral medicine completely missed the mark.  Kids with autism and other spectrum related disorders were labeled as 'problem kids' and not always given the help and guidance needed. Instead, they were labeled as troubled kids in some cases.  On the other hand, I can see that sometimes in today's society pushed parents to 'relate to' and 'understand' their children more.  While it is important to know your children and be able to explain in ways they understand, sometimes we just have to be the parents.   That is to say, we have to guide and discipline them based on what will need as they travel from childhood to adulthood vs. what they are willing to readily accept.

----

Speaking of wisdom of years and experience, it has changed it has changed the way I relate to people and whom I 'seek approval' from.  When I was in my teens and twenties, I had opinions but didn't always have the confidence that goes along with age and experience.  I tended to defer to 'grownups' (aka parental figures and older folks) more.   As I've gotten older, I realize that I've learned things along the way, gathered experience and that not everything is as it is portrayed, including in politics.

Everyone wants to have their take accepted to varying degrees.  Some people seem to need a constant feedback of praise or validation, while others seem to measure their take against a principle or set of principles.

For what it's worth, here is my take:
  • The take of others has to be considered. 
    • Someone who has devoted time/service to their country--sometimes at great cost--is someone who has earned a right to be heard and considered.
    • Similar people in a place of authority.
    • Your spouse and kids, whom are affected by your decisions need to be taken into account when you make a big decision.  For example, can't just accept a job out of town without consulting them and expect them to go along without any chance of resistance. 
    • A friend or family member who has observed you for years often can give you an outsider's perspective from someone who you'd expect to have your best interests in mind.
    • More often we are able to discern their motive or perspective and assess where it is coming from--a selfless place, a mixed motive place or a selfish place.
  • Ultimately, I have to measure my decisions/choices against that of my Higher Power (aka God).
    • As His child, I know He sees and knows things about me which no one could possibly.
    • As His child, I know He created me in His own image and therefore wants what is best for me.
    • As His child, I know He wants me to trust His divine judgment.
    • As His child, I know He has put forward principles in my life (Ten Commandments/The Golden Rule/Proverbs/etc) for my enlightenment and wisdom.
  • I know He didn't shape me to be one of a mass produced robots.
    • He shaped me individually with my individual talents/strengths.
    • He shaped me with free will.  He wants to be appreciated by His children, but He wants it come honestly I believe.
    • He saw that 'man' cannot live an island.  We are social creatures and need the company/companionship of others in our lives.  Obviously, we have to take into account their needs too. 
    • While we aren't an island, we can't just put the 'need' for acceptance from others above His eternal wisdom ('rules') and his knowledge what is best for us.

I have had family and friends who have properly thought--or occasionally rationalized to themselves--that they were advising me in what they saw as 'my best interests'.   Usually, it is, but it hasn't necessarily always been.  Sometimes the advice is welcomed, sometimes it is not, but regardless I have always felt it best that it is best that either way, I have to do what I understand is best in His eyes.  That is, not just what I can rationalize that He would 'accept', but what I can back up with my knowledge of His word and discern with His guidance through prayer and meditation.   There is a time for quietly listening to the guidance of others and there is a time for letting others know that their guidance is not helpful, but it is always the right time to seek out and follow His guidance.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Throwing mud at the good only makes it muddy, not destroyed.

I don't know if it's a guy thing, it's a humility thing, a self-negating thing,  an escape thing or what.  But I was talking to a friend about a sentimental feeling--something like am a good dad or similar--and I found myself shifting gear in the conversation.  It was a guy friend and the subject matter was personal, so I to 'undignify' the conversation a bit by saying something goofy. It dawned on me that I was throwing mud at the conversation/subject matter in an attempt to minimize it.

In society, we will always have people that are egotistical and self-promoting (beyond what their job requires), but there will always be a segment of society which strikes a pose that could be seen as humble.  We see in everyday life, heroes dismissing their bravery, grown-ups dismissing their positive impact on kids, friends dismissing the nice things they do for others, people soft-pedaling their birthday, men not showing or owning their soft side, etc.  I will take a moment to focus on the why of it, but I did want to address what it means to throw mud at the 'good' and how it doesn't change it.


So, why do we try to dismiss, minimize or negate the good we do or feel?   I've got a few thoughts on it.
  • We have been taught not to 'brag' about our goodness.  Our parents, ministers, coaches, etc. have imparted in us that our nature should be evident and that to self-promote is unseemly and not proper.
  • We don't like the attention of being 'praised'. 
    • Some people are just humble.  
    • Some people just are uncomfortable with the positive spotlight and would rather live in the shadows trying to do the right things.
  • We can be self-negating and recognizing our goodness gets in the way.
    • This can look like modesty (humility), but it really is not allowing ourselves to be framed positively.
    • This can reflect a general low sense of self-worth.  If you don't necessarily feel good about yourself, there is no space for recognizing or allowing others to recognize your inherent goodness.
  • We can feel vulnerable.
    • We don't want to acknowledge ourselves too much.  I've said to others, "You're a good person, but I won't let anyone know."  The less others know about us, including the good, the less we are known, and therefore potentially vulnerable.
    • If we accept others noting our good side, potentially we are implying permission for them to note our flaws as well.

So, how do we throw mud on the good?
  • Minimized the good we have done.
    • We say things like anyone in my situation would have done the same.
      • If I hadn't jumped to help, someone else would have.
    • We say deflect credit for good deeds to others.
      • I'm just trying to help, but so and so deserves the real credit.
    • We minimize the kindness we've shown. 
      • I was just paying for the kindness shown to me.
    • We deflect from showing positive sentiment. 
      • Sometimes I'm an okay person.
  • Maximize our flaws.
    • I've made mistakes and I'm just trying to do good these days to make up for it.
    • I've been insensitive to others and I'm just trying to correct that.
    • I've lived a rough life and I'm just trying these days to do the right thing.


I've said before I think there are few completely selfish people and even fewer truly evil people in the world.  I think most people have a good side and a bad side.  Most people have the mind to do good things or bad things given the right or wrong stimulus.  Obviously, some are more inclined to do good than others, but still.   No matter what negative in our lives, it doesn't negate the positives.  We can throw all the mud we want on the good about us, but it doesn't negate it.  It can deflect others from seeing it or openly acknowledging the good, it can help us dismiss the good, but at the end of the day our good still remains.  Just as with our flaws, properly recognizing the good is important to mental and spiritual health.

Just some observations.




Monday, April 30, 2018

Timing Timing Timing

A funny thing happened on the way to heaven recently.  I went to a graveside memorial to support a long-time friend  I didn't know his mom well, but you know memorials are as much for the living as the deceased.  Anyway, I was warned that with the recent rains that the ground could be a bit sloppy and that you might want to wear tennis shoes or boots.  Anyway, I didn't hear that until after I wore my nice black Izod dress shoes to work.  I couldn't stop back at home, so I did the next best thing--looked for a place with inexpensive shoes on the way there.  I ended up stopping at a Goodwill store and buying some plain back dress shoes that were a little wide.  They weren't that expensive and they weren't as fancy as my Izod shoes, so I wouldn't be too annoyed if they got messy or ruined..  As it turned out,  I would have been fine with my original shoes, so I felt like I wasted money.

However, timing is a funny thing.  A week or so later, I went to a Cardinals game in which my daughter sang "Take me out to the ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.   On the way back to the parking lot, I stepped off the sidewalk wrong, buckling my ankle underneath and collapsing my full body weight on it, like a sack of potatoes.  But, as luck would have it recently got the wider black dress shoes.  So, I was able to wear shoes with a swollen sprained ankle.  In other words, the timing of the seemingly unnecessary shoe purchase was perfect.  This gets me back to the larger point: Life is all about time.  

In life we can want to say or do something which is otherwise appropriate, but if said or done with the wrong timing it may not be for the best.  For example, right after your child trips and does a face-plant on the stairs and needs stitches would probably not be the best time to tell her that she needs to make sure her shoes are tied and to watch where she is going.  Likewise, telling a widowed friend they need to go out and meet people new people would be good advice, a couple years out, but a couple weeks out of losing their spouse, not so much.

I don't claim to be an expert on timing, but here are a few thoughts on the subject matter (when it relates to dealing with others).
  • Sometimes there is never going to be good timing.  You risk being seen as wrong whenever you say or do what you need to.
    • When telling a friend or loved one a hard truth, there is no getting around the fact that no matter when you say it, they may not take it well.  
    •  If saying what you need to won't ever go down well, there is little point in waiting as you are just prolonging your tension and delaying the inevitable.
  • Sometimes, a loved one is venting and they really aren't looking for a solution or being related to.  They just want to share their pain so they can process it.  Now, at a later point, they might be open to your input.  But, sometimes people don't want 'answers' or being 'related to'.  Sometimes they just want to be heard at the current time.
    • This can be frustrating for the listener if they want to help or if they are tired of hearing complaining and no action.
    • It isn't always immediately obvious that the one who is venting just wants to be heard.  So, it could be best to wait for a cue.

--

Looking for the right time to say or do what you need to ask the following questions:
    • Is it really something that needs addressed or is it just something think you want to address.
      • If I am venting to a friend about about being broke, I probably am just complaining.  I don't specifically expect the friend to loan me money or give me advice on how to avoid being broke in the future.  So, my friend might feel like he/she needs to give me advice or offer me money to 'fix' the situation, but I'm not really looking for that.
      • If I twist my ankle severely, even  if I think it is not broken, I probably should get an X-Ray to be safe.
    • Is there ever a good time for the action/words you 'need' to do or say?
      • When a family is struggling with a chemical dependency or gambling, he or she may not be open to hearing how they are destroying themselves.  
      • The reason interventions are so stressful is because the one being intervened for isn't exactly thinking that they want or need it.
    • What are the possible cost of saying/doing it now?
      • Losing or risking losing a relationship sooner.
        • If you tell confront a loved one about their dependency sooner rather than waiting, you may also face a fallout sooner.
      • Going with incomplete information and misreading the situation.
        • After a particularly bad breakup, I may feel ready to date again soon.  However, it is possible that by waiting a little bit I'd see that maybe I'm not.
    • What is the cost of delaying saying/doing it until later?
      • You could come across as indecisive or unwilling to do what needs to be done.
        • In a family, that could undermine your authority or your word.
        • As a leader, that could give aid and comfort to our enemies.
      • The situation you needed to address may have boiled over or reached a head.
        • Your finances may have gone from difficult to completely unmanageable if you wait to address them.
        • An addict you needed to confront may have overdosed while you pondered when the 'right' or 'best' time to confront them was. 
    • What is the benefit of saying doing what you need to now vs. later?
      • The weight or stress associated with making the decision will dissipate.  It might be replaced with the consequences of the decision, but at least the decision-making won't weigh on you. 
      • The outcome or result of the decision often is clear sooner if you make the decision sooner.   Instead of guessing what will happen IF, you stand a better chance of knowing.

--

I'm not an expert on timing, but what has always helped me are these two things:
  1. Collecting all the information I reasonably can about the decision--saying or doing what needs to be said/done--before I make the decision.   Read the situation as best as I can and when I think I have enough (or at least as much information as I can get), make the decision and don't look back.  
    • It is easy to second guess when you have more information after the fact, but isn't helpful.
    • Knowing I did the best with the information I had might not make me feel completely better, but at least I'll know I did all that I could.
  2.  Taking myself out of the decision-making process as much as possible.
    • What would I tell someone else to do or say in a given situation?
    • Is my choice based on what is best, what I want or what will 'make me feel better'?
      • Being aware of my measuring stick--in the eyes of my Higher Power...
      • Sure, I could try to help my child in all situations, but sometimes it is best as painful as it is, to allow him/her to make the mistakes.
      • Sure, I could offer someone advice in a given situation, but there is a good chance that he/she might just want to be heard.
    • What does my gut tell me.  Not how I feel, but what I know to be the case.

While I feel like the phrase--timing is everything--is overused.  In may cases, it is either significant or it is everything.  If we are better aware of when timing is important I think we will make better choices.

Just some thoughts.

-- Rich


Saturday, April 28, 2018

I haven't got time for the pain or do I?


I recently went to a ballgame in which my daughter's choir sang: "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" for the seventh inning stretch.  It was a very cool thing to watch for a parent.  I was very proud of her.  Anyway, after all the fun and games so to speak, we left the Stadium and headed towards the car.  On the way to the parking lot, I stepped off a curb the wrong way, twisting my ankle with the weight of my body collapsing on top of it.  Besides being a bit humiliated, I was a injured and was in pain.  I still am having pain with it about a few weeks later as I severely sprained my ankle.

This whole incident and the inconvenience it caused kind of gave me the blues over the next few days.  Anyway, my wife and I had a discussion on dealing with adversity and she indicated that she does what needs done even when upsetting/depressing things happening to or around her. In other words, she can't afford to let things keep her mood down.  Like I said and I was feeling bluesy and probably a bit misunderstood and said to her, "People have time for depression?"  I wasn't trying to shame her or make her feel bad, but to express that yes we indeed can exercise control over how we deal with bad things, it is not always complete control.  

Sometimes,...
  • A situation in our life can be so upsetting that despite our best efforts to "soldier on", we have to take the time and give the wound a chance to heal before we go back into the daily grind.
  • We have face so much trauma over time that what seems like a small setback can just feel like piling on of woes and therefore can be disabling.
  • We are just having a bad day already and what we could brush off yesterday is something that we struggle with doing so today.
  • We have a family history of 'behavioral health' issues or problems
In other words, sometimes our spirit dictates to us what we can handle, not what we think we should be able to 'deal with'.

People say God will not allow more in our lives than we can bear in referencing the following:

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.


When relating this adversity, people take this to mean that God will not allow you more to happen to you than you can handle with idea of handling means "just dealing with it".

I think the problem lies in people's interpretation of it.  Handling or 'enduring' doesn't always mean just pushing the problem (pain) aside and soldiering on.  Sometimes, it means taking a break, taking a nap, stepping away or retrenching such that we can recover.  

I think,...
  • Provided we aren't invested in a lifetime pass to a pity party and want to move forward in our lives.
  • Provided we don't have a nervous breakdown when we stub a toe or a similar overreaction.
  • Provided that deep down inside we are committed to moving forward and haven't just given up 
That we should be accept that sometimes we or those around us do need to make or allow "time for the pain".  If there is anything I've learned, it's this:  Feelings denied, suppressed or otherwise minimized don't go away, but instead can metastasize into something far worse or destructive.   So, be kind to yourself.  Don't sit around and expect life's hurts and problems just to go away as you rock your life away, but don't ignore them always pushing forward and pretending like they don't exist either.