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Posts Tagged ‘Turmoil’

Overall, I’ve had a rather stressful week and a half (for a taste of last week, see my latest post on The Writers of Ingleside). But last weekend was delightful. Daniel and I celebrated our anniversary late, and went to Winchester for the weekend, which included apple, peach, and blackberry picking, as well as a nice dinner at one of those places where they cook it in front of you, a night at a hotel, and a trip to a very unique winery (focus was on elderberry!). We didn’t even THINK about school. But, come Monday, along with all the normal work stresses, and I was just hit with an overwhelming tide of a sense of failure all over – every single thing I was stressed about and needed to do or hadn’t done just kept pummeling my brain over and over again. And, on top of that, my laptop stopped working on Friday (Saturday?).

So this week I have not been particularly happy, and this morning was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I opened my pantry door, and a broken shelf allowed a bottle of liquid Chlorophyll to drop out and splattered all over the dining room, partially into the living room, partially into the kitchen, and on top of me for good measure. Add to that a very limited amount of sleep, and the thoughts that had been bombarding me all week so far, and – let’s just say it was a very rough morning, and I had a very bad attitude all the way up until about . . .like half an hour ago, when God sent a devotional my way (designed as though it is a letter from God), that literally said, “When My people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, I am displeased. . . The more you focus on My Presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life.”

So, I sat down, and I said, Okay, fine. but I don’t know what to do. The turmoil inside of me is too  great. What should I do? So, long story short(ish), He told me to make a list of literally everything that was stressing and worrying me. Once I had completed that, He told me to write next to it what the lie was behind that stress. That in itself was enlightening. Then He told me to write the truth next to the lie. It was actually a pretty incredible exercise, and by the time I finished, all the turmoil inside of me was gone, and I feel – almost peaceful. So, I am sharing my (extremely long) list below for anyone who cares to see. Don’t feel like you need to read it. It’s just an example of how many lies I was allowing to affect my attitude and my days, and I wasn’t even aware of it. (You may notice a theme. Hint: Failure. I guess that’s an Enneagram 1 for you.)

Stress List Lies I am telling myself Truth
My knee still hurts/creaking God cannot/will not heal me He can heal me, and even if He chooses not to in this lifetime, it will not negatively impact my life unless I let it. In addition, I can do more to assist the healing process by doing the exercises I am supposed to.
Elbow still hurts/fingers going numb God cannot/will not heal me He can heal me, and even if He chooses not to in this lifetime, it will not negatively impact my life unless I let it. In addition, I can do more to assist the healing process by doing the exercises I am supposed to.
Ongoing cold sore/canker sore They will never go away They will be gone within a week, and are just a temporary sign of too much stress and not enough sleep
Writing my final paper for class I cannot do it It will be hard work, but I can and will do it, and I know I can write on time. It just takes discipline.
Visiting friends They will not like me We will not cease being friends even if I am boring
Three briefings at end of month I will do a bad job I know metrics no one else does, which is why they ask for briefings. I will provide value, even if I stumble over my words.
My house is a wreck I am a failure as a housekeeper/wife The house was clean on Monday, and other priorities prevented me from cleaning it yesterday, but it will only take about a half hour to clean again when I am able to make it a priority.
Haven’t lost weight in a long time I am a failure at discipline I have worked out on a regular basis for over a month and even if I could decrease my calories, being healthy is better. In addition, saving time to dedicate to school has to take priority right now, which may mean less healthy foods for a time. I have chosen to be disciplined in working out right now instead of food.
Haven’t been writing lately I am a failure as a writer Taking a week off of writing does not mean I am not a writer. It means I had other priorities. And also it means my laptop has been broken.
Haven’t written or submitted short story to contest I’ve known about for months I cannot write a short story worthy of submission If my short story is not accepted, that does not mean I am a bad writer; trying is better than assuming failure.
Haven’t made a chiropractor appointment I am a failure at scheduling Other things have been a priority, like spending the weekend with my husband, a night with friends, and catching up on work after being on a business trip. It has only been a week since I cancelled my last appointment. Waiting a week or so to reschedule is perfectly normal.
Don’t have enough PTO for all my days off There are too many expectations placed on me I have chosen to take that much PTO and it is my responsibility to make sure I am able to meet both work and personal commitments. In addition, my work is usually willing to work with me, and will allow me to go negative if necessary. I should allow myself to look forward to the PTO instead of stressing over it.
Work phone is not working properly I must have my work phone to work properly I am using it as an excuse not to work more efficiently. My mobile work phone is just as usable.
Doing this week’s forum post I can’t do that and the paper too The forum post takes one night of concentrated effort. If that screws up my ability to write a paper, then I have bigger issues.
Didn’t get to go to county fair I never have time for fun stuff because of school I just had an amazing weekend away, have great weekends planned ahead, and giving up ONE SINGLE THING I wanted to do in order to work on my Master’s degree is probably worth the sacrifice.
Need to bake with fruit before it goes bad I don’t have time to do everything I need to do. I need to establish my priorities. Baking will take one night or part of a day on a weekend. Not worth stressing about. On the contrary, it will likely be a nice break from school
Responding to friends, esp. friends’ requests I am a bad friend I need to establish priorities. Friends understand when I am on travel and doing school, and if I cannot meet requests, all I need to do is let them know I haven’t forgotten and choose which day it should be a priority.
Never enough time for devotions/prayer time I am a failure as Christian I just need to establish my priorities. I have not made it a priority because I think God will understand if I push Him off in favor of things like school. I need to reassess my attitude.
Never enough time to read writing books and/or do writing exercises I am a failure as a writer Right now may not be the best time in my life to do writing books and writing exercises. I have chosen to do a master’s course, therefore it is a higher priority. It is likely more important to do actual writing than to read about it at this point. I can still be a writer without reading books about it.
Spending money wisely I am not being disciplined enough because I am spending a lot of money this fall on fun things As long as I am not overspending my income, God does not mind if I use some of the money He’s given me to do fun things with my friends or my husband.
Disorganized desk I am a failure on an individual level I do not use my desk on a regular basis and therefore it does not need to be organized at all times.
Disorganized in general in all of life I am a failure as a person I have competing priorities right now, and need to take time to pray over them to determine which should be higher priority. Having to work through that is perfectly normal and does not mean I have failed.

 

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