I’m stressed and I don’t know why… well, that isn’t completely true. I know why, but it doesn’t seem like its “ok” to be stressed about what I’m stressed about. I know… isn’t that odd to say?! But think about it? How often does that happen?
I hear myself and others say “I am stressed” and then follow it with “but I don’t know why…” Like, “I don’t know why I’m so stressed, I have a beautiful house, a great husband/wife/partner, a job I always wanted….” or “its not like I have a hard job” or “I don’t have kids… or I only have one child… or I only have _____ children and don’t have to work outside the home…”
How many times do you hear someone say “I’m stressed about x, y, or z” and then you hear someone else (or that same person) then say, “well, at least you/I don’t have _________, like so-and-so.” As if to say that because my circumstances are different than someone else’s, I can’t be stressed…
I mean, first off, I know that there are millions of people in the world that have circumstances worse than mine. Being stressed about my circumstances doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate what I have and it doesn’t mean that I am minimizing those other people’s circumstances either. It simply means that I’m fucking stressed!
Its not helpful to tell myself or someone else that it isn’t ok or cool to be stressed about what they are stressed about. Because, frankly, they are already stressed! Its a done deal at that point, what the good does it do to tell them they shouldn’t be… (and ‘should’ shows up in the picture, of course, we knew it would)…. what’s helpful at that point is to figure out what they are stressed about.
I mean, we do get stressed about things that don’t make sense to be stressed about and often that means we are thinking or considering things that aren’t real in the first place. So, its helpful to explore what we are stressed about, so we can get rid of those things… if for no other reason than to save that energy for something that is real to stress about. But this is hard to do when you get the impression, either from yourself or from someone else, that its not ok to be stressed.
So, I’m stressed because I don’t get to be outside in the sunshine. I can hear some of you right now looking at me funny… But, the struggle is real. I love… and I do mean love what I do… its my life’s work and my calling. But it means I am inside, rain or shine, and its really hard for me to be inside when I am craving sunshine. And I do crave sunshine, I have a very basic need for it, and living in Ohio… I don’t get enough of it (enough being defined by my own need for it, not some universal measure)… So, when the sun is shining, especially in the spring after long gray winters, I just want to be outside… I happily mow the grass so that I can be outside doing something.
So, even though I love my work, I struggle to be in my office when the sun is shining. This being said, I have sat with the feeling and explored it enough to know that when I’m with clients doing what I’m passionate about, I don’t notice this need. But as soon as I sit down to do paperwork or some other mundane task that is required of me in order to maintain the license that allows me to do what I do… I suddenly can’t sit still, can’t stand to be inside a minute longer.
So, what does this mean about Being My True Self?… this means revamping my work schedule. Another reason that I do what I do. Traditional work hours don’t work for me… I figured that out and accepted it a long time ago. So, I’m looking at my work schedule to figure out how I can do what I love doing while also honoring that part of me that needs to be outside in the sunshine when the sun is out… In Ohio, that means leaving the option open because in Ohio you can’t count on it being there just on the weekends or on your days off.
Today… Being My True Self means honoring who I am and my needs, even when they look different than everyone else’s and everyone else looks at me like I’m weird and ungrateful.