I am not a game face kinda gal. "Never letttum see you sweat." Yeah, I'm not that poster girl. Transparency's tap shoes sound just too good for my dancing feet. Rattatattap are the innards of my soul clacking out for all the world to see if they wanna. Some can game face like pros. Their entire world can be crumbling within and yet they have nothing but a coke & a smile for you each time you see them. I respects those cats. I admire them even. To have their emotions on absolute lockdown possessing the spectacular ability to motor through these minutes-turned-days. Awesome, y'all. But that's not me.
Genetics tossed in with good ole upbringing are the parentals of our basic personalities. So yeah, it's a no brainer that each of us handle stress differently. A crazy kinda cool happens when we learn from one another on ways to create a more healthy handle on the havoc life throws. I'm here to tell you my solutions for that word that ends in a double "s" all serpent-like. I am not here to go all Piaget, Maslow or Jung on you. Nope. No bound research or doctorate degrees on psychology live in my stress camp. I am simply a human busy with business deadlines to meet, children to teach,
chin hairs to pluck, mouths to feed, laundry to wash and taxes to pay.
Stress comes at you like a spider monkey. Arms flailing & smacking. Stress don't play. It's serious. It sucks rocks too. How do I open a can of whoop arse on this evil villain? I keep it simple. I use the 5 senses.
I listen to the voices inside my head. Yes, the crazy ones. If I don't, they'll suffocate me. Told you I was transparent. Blocking them out or pretending doubt is not in my person does me no good in the end. And you know what? I listen to those who love me like wildfire just the same, BUT MORE. Wildfire love is legit. I am honored to have a husband who can handle my inside voices. I have rockstar friends that can too. Sometimes my best medicine is hearing one of my peeps tell me "You can do this." Better yet, a dose of "Meghan, get over it. Grow up. And get on with it." I love that my supports can regulate on my tail simply because they love me.You guessed it. Like wildfire.
I hold onto what I know. What I can feel. Skin. Squishy smiles & soft backs against the palm of my hands. I cling to them. Hugs. I move into my people at a proximity like no other kinda close. When my heart is heavy and my hope is down, when I feel overwhelmed or underestimated, I know that's when I need to hold on that much tighter. It is in this physical closeness that I am reminded of what's important. Of what's only here for a little while.
I peek out from the turtle shell of me. Oftentimes, when I feel heaviest and surrounded by strife or pressure, I make myself...step out of myself. I take a look around at what others are experiencing. I don't do this as a comparative pick-me-up, but more for an honest reminder that we all have struggles and slippery moments. Times when who we are is unsettling. Where we are headed, uncertain. How problems will be solved, unsure. All of us are falling. It's just how we handle the balancing act of hope that determines our outcome. It is with these reminded eyes, I regain composure. I find perspective too.
I need breathes. Deep inhalations of honest air. Stress relieving is moving outward what is trapped within. For me, that involves endorphin activation that comes from exercise. Running keeps me sane. It loosens all the jargon talk of doubt & disbelief in my noggin. It allows me to ingest the aroma of freedom and open spaces. Stress relief also comes from happy scents that I enjoy. Being a candle maker, I take full delight in surrounding myself with joyful flavors. There's something easy and peaceful about a home/work environment that is happy to the nose. I also make it a point to wear my favorite perfume and use my favorite lotion. It's those little things that help me to carry the big ole burdens that much better.
Filling my body with good gets me the through the grittiness of life. I love how strong I feel when I take advantage of healthy foods. Color on my plate makes mountains of life's yuck become a little bit more like molehills in perspective. I try to keep fresh fruits and vegetables in our home. I make smoothies with all kinds random-good-for-you ingredients. I drink water. I drink wine too. I make it a point to fuel my family with food that has an impact on the who we are. I can attest that processed dinners and overdoses of fake fast foods leaves my body empty feeling. Empty feeling and void. The more I move towards what my body needs, the healthier I feel.
Finally, and most certainly foremost, I rest in Him. My daily praise and handovers of the hungover mistakes of my life move me to a better place to begin again. And again. And again. He sets the stars. He shines the sun. He settles the score of death. I can't shake a stick at the miracles He has in the palm of His hand. My movement through this life is meant to magnify the love He has for us all. I can do all things thought Christ who strengthens me. On repeat. Every second of my days and in my weakest moments. Phil. 4:13.
Life isn't about being trump tight steady. It's not about having all the answers either. So why do we try to pretend it is? Real life is moving to a better form of center for yourself and for those around you. I have no doubt stress is the outward form of this movement in us all. Life's juggles and regrets are here to help us learn and to mold us into more. Stress sits in us as a reminder of just who you can rely on for sealing the holy deal on this precious gift called life. Comin' at you like a spider monkey. Arms flailing. Focus your face on Him. Bring on the chin hairs.