“Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it.” ~ Jane Wagner, One of Lily Thomlin’s comedy writers
And the reality of divorce causing stress hits you in the face as soon as the process starts. Nothing about the trip induces calm or peacefulness. Everywhere you turn, there is something stressful to deal with. A while back I did a presentation about stress at a meeting of the Auxiliary of the Greater Kansas City Foundation for Citizens with Disabilities. I ended up talking about my favorite topic, R.A.D.I.C.A.L. living. That acronym could just as easily be for Rising Above Disabilities or Difficulties In Confidence And Love as Rising Above Divorce In Confidence And Love. The principles are the same. As Jane Wagner’s quote above reminds us, day-to-day living in the real world can be stressful. Every single day has the potential to “stress us out,” as everyone and their mother express it. I usually try to avoid phrases like “stressed out.” By using those phrases, we reinforce our problem. Instead of saying “I’m stressed out,” let’s say something like, “I’m finding solutions,” or “I’m growing through a challenge.” Alvin Toffler, the American writer and futurist thinks most stress comes about when we are faced with too much change too quickly. We have trouble adjusting fast enough. So divorce (and sudden disability) can both be prime candidates for causing more than their share of stress. The most important thing about stress is what we are going to do about this state of life that is common to every single human being. First of all, make sure you are doing all the daily basics. Getting up. Getting dressed. Eating right. Sleeping enough. Use all the common-sense calming tools at your disposal. Breathe deeply. Meditate. Exercise. Count your blessings. All of those things can help us deal with stress. Even sniffing the scent of lavender can help. But, for me, the biggest and best stress buster I have is to know that I am not alone in life. I have friends and family and support from those around me. I also believe I have access to the greatest power of the universe who has promised to be with me through anything and everything. Knowing I have that power constantly available always makes me breathe easier, because nothing I will ever face is greater than that. So get in touch with that eternal reality, now.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)