Growing Up, Growing Out
Once upon a time, a little girl sat in the grass and stared up at the green trees and the blue sky and sighed. “Nothing could ever be more important than this!” she thought. As the little girl grew older, things became more important. Friends and jobs and money and shopping, and after more time, bills and cars and bills and weddings and jobs and bills. Gone were the days when enjoying the soft spring breeze was the only thing on her to do list, but that’s okay. Children grow up. It’s a fact of life. I may be a proponent for never losing that certain childlike wonder, but as you learn to fend for yourself in the world, there are new factors that start to take up as much notice as the old ones. (Just don’t let them overshadow!) This natural part of growing up is not what I want to talk about today.
The problem begins to grow very, very quietly. Something happens at work that, while not major, makes you upset. You dwell on it. It’s a little thing, but it happened. Maybe a friend gets moody and drags you into some dramatic how-do-you-do and you find yourself preoccupied with how others are taking it, or perhaps how you are taking it too much. A little thing. These little things, thezse factors of stress, they aren’t very big or important independently of each other. It’s when they start to stack, and it just seems like every tiny little thing is piggybacking on the last tiny little thing and you can’t seem to keep your head above them all and if you could only get a breath of air to BREATHE things might be easier to handle but the little hole you can see the sky through is growing smaller and smaller…
Let me tell you a story. It’s short, I promise. My fiance and I are in charge of a bi-weekly get together with some friends. (Okay, its a tabletop RPG.) Today, while trying to work around everyone’s schedule so we could all get to enjoy the session, I quickly became overwhelmed and stressed out when one day worked for everyone but one person, and this person can’t do our substitute day, and another one gets frustrated, and this one could have changed things around if they had only known… The issue stems from a lack of effective communication (a pet peeve of mine) and it ended with me putting down my cell phone, washing my hands of the issue, and letting the fiance handle the schedule. To calm my nerves, I sat at the computer, updated Facebook, and then had a realization that, honestly, should have come to me a lot sooner than now.
As much as I got frustrated just now, I don’t truly care. I don’t mean this in a negative, giving up sort of way. It’s just the reason I got stressed was because everyone else was making it into a big deal. If we can’t work something out for today, then we do it another day. If we can’t do it another day, we wait until the next scheduled day. I understand that other people have schedules that they can’t work around (although why my happenings always seem to be compromising for everyone else’s, I don’t know, but that’s a rant for another day), but this get together tonight isn’t the end of the world. We can’t play today; oh well. I do this because its fun and a way to relieve stress, not another way to get some. Trust me when I say there are so much more important things I could be doing tonight, but I don’t. I make the choice to have a fun night with friends.
I think everyone, everywhere, has this problem to some varying degree. Little things stress us out, and they needn’t. Inside everyone’s heart is a list of priorities, whether you know about it or not. An iconic part of growing up is realizing that you have these priorities, and re-evaluating your life to put these things first, where they should be. When you are honest with yourself, stress doesn’t seem to become an issue anymore, because the priority items that do generate stress are things that you, in your heart, love and want, so the stress is almost welcome. It means you are accomplishing things with your life that matter to you. That is an incredible feeling, and something that I think everyone should strive for.
It’s all a matter of being aware of yourself, your path, and your life. Meeting my fiance and getting engaged was a big wake-up call for me. Before, I always felt like I was drowning in a river, where the current is pulling you along but you have no control over where it takes you or how fast you get there, and you can’t get your face above water to breathe and you can’t reach any branches or rocks to stop and steady yourself. Looking back, I was unhappy and I was stressed a lot more than I am now. I didn’t know where I was going, I didn’t have any anchors in my life to ground me, and I didn’t have any idea how I would even get on my path, once I figured out what it would be. I’ve attributed my life to a rushing river for a long time now, but when I met my fiance and we started to get serious, I felt like the river was finally slowing down. He helped me focus, figure out my priorities, and help me find a path to accomplishing them. The best part is, I don’t even think he realized he was helping me that much.The thing is, it was all inside me; the little girl who always had her priorities straight and never let another person pull her away from what was truly important to her. She came back, took my hand, and reassured me that it’s okay to focus your life and cut away the things that are holding you back. Now I have a path, clear as crystal, in front of me. I remember the things that are important to me, the things that truly matter. Sometimes I get distracted, but real life can be a distraction sometimes. To others, I may seem like I’m pulling away, but really, I’m centering.
I don’t spend as much time with my friends anymore, because it’s time wasted that I could be using to follow the path. There are some people that are very important to me, high on my priority list, and they help me down the path. I keep them in my life like I keep the little girl in the grass. There are others that drag me down, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I haven’t cut them out completely, but they play less of a role than they did a few years ago. There are things I used to do that I don’t do so much anymore. I dedicate that time to the real loves of my life – writing, alternative wellness, crafts, nature, learning and my spirituality. We only have so much time to be who we want to be and accomplish what we want to do. I don’t want to be one of those people that lets the river take them along to the end without learning to swim. I want to master the river so I can direct my own path and experience all there is to experience along the way.
Reiki teaches us a really awesome life lesson, even if you don’t buy into the practice. They teach you to focus on just today, because yesterday can’t be changed and tomorrow could be anything. I’ll leave you with them, in the hopes that they can help you find your path, too. (And maybe not kill someone in the meantime, which is what I almost did tonight.(; )
Just for today, do not anger.
Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, count your blessings.
Just for today, do an honest day’s work.
Just for today, be kind to every living thing.
Posted on February 6, 2012, in Health and Wellness, Magic and Spirituality and tagged Health, inner balance, Mental Health, priorities, reiki principles, Stress, Stress management, Time management. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.