In this post I'll discuss how to respond, not to the effects of stress, but to the stressful situations themselves. I'm talking about how to respond when we’re in the heat of battle and life continues to throw us curveball after curveball. How to respond when we’re feeling overwhelmed and don't know which way to turn for relief. How to respond in a manner that gets us from chaos to calm!
In order to do so I’ll use the framework provided by my 3R concept. If you remember the 3R's stand for Recognize, Reconcile and Reconnect. The first step is to recognize the impartial forces, factors and issues that are currently working in our life. By their very nature impartial events do not ask permission to be present in our lives. They will occur whether we like it or not.
Examples of impartial events are: natural disasters, failed personal relationships (have you ever tried to continue a relationship with someone who has made up their mind to leave?), bankruptcy, sickness, disease and death. We must recognize that these events are going to occur anyway and it's our emotional attachment to them that causes most of our stress. We must also recognize that our core beliefs as well as the Law of Cause and Effect also contribute to our stress levels.
Next we must learn to reconcile (re-create a close working relationship with) all of this stress in our life and our desire to remain connected to our inner being, which is that part that allows us to experience stress in a manner that keeps us calm, confident and creative. However, in order to do this, we must (like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz) face our fears.
As difficult as it may seem, the first step in facing our fears is to accept responsibility for our part in creating the stressful situations that currently exist. You see, if we created them then we can change them. The next step in reconciling our life is to immediately create a vision that will allow us to handle the stress in a manner that keeps us connected to our inner being.
Finally, we must take this vision that we've created and reconnect back into our lives. Let me give you an example. A number of years ago I was having a very difficult time with my oldest son. Every time we got together the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I could feel my stress increasing prior to each meeting. Then one day I took responsibility and decided to create a vision that helped me experience our encounters in a manner that kept me connected to my inner being.
It was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. After a few months all of the tension surrounding these meetings was gone. We even got to the point where we hugged each other at the conclusion of our meetings. Today, I'm proud to say he is one of my best friends.
I hope this post is able to help you get from chaos to calm. Here's hoping that you live today and every day passionately and with purpose. Thank you and God bless.