Shift Your Stress
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]H[/mk_dropcaps]ave you ever realized that stress is one of those things that is either benefits you or is toxic. I used to think it was all about where the stress came from that determined if it was good stress or bad stress. Recently however I recognizing on a personal level that how you view stress is what determines if it is beneficial or harmful. Media will scandalize stressors as very harmful, even toxic to our bodies. Often these stressors include poor self care, lack of sleep, overworking, and environmental stressors. While these definitely do not have positive benefits, I dare to say today that how you view these things, along with any kind of stress determines how our bodies respond to it.
For example, I get stressed when I have speaking engagements. In the past I used to fret and worry far in advance of the event. I would feel multiple times over the anxiety and physical response of nervousness creep in when just thinking about about the fact I had to speak. Over the last two years really, with more and more opportunities for public speaking I came to realize my perception and thoughts about the event played a LARGE role in not only how I performed, but the physical toll the events would have.
In the past, speaking was worse than an intense workout on my body. I'd finish and leave feeling drained and relieved, but emotionally exhausted. Once my perspective changed, my performance was able to improve significantly, and most of all my confidence grew.
In recognizing the weight of responsibility added to my plate this year, I recognize how I got away from being very intentional about how I perceive the role. The negative signs of stress have creeped back in (tension headache, irregular energy, and worst of all emotional lows). These physical symptoms or signals of some faulty focus spiritually and relationally. I come back to one of my all time favorite versus, that because of my performance bent really helps me recalibrate:
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.- Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)[/mk_blockquote]
I don't know about you but "living freely and lightly" sounds like you have a healthy relationship with stress. It all hinges on getting out of our own heads, releasing our own agenda's and looking to Jesus for guidance. When we "get away" with God we recover not only our strength, but the vibrancy of life. It is remembering again to partner with God, not to work for God. No matter how much you carry, you are never alone. God is always with you and he is waiting to take the burden off. It all starts with shifting the weight off our own shoulders and acknowledging that we need help. That's the hard part. It's humbling and vulnerable to admit you don't have it all together and you need help. I'm challenged to do this almost daily these days, but you know what? My joy in the process is exponentially higher when I submit my will to tough it out apart from God and acknowledge that I need His help. Then it's the patience to actually step aside and humble my pride
As I get ready to launch the Rhythm of Results program, you can imagine the weight I feel of all of these projects. But you know what?! The thought that God is with me, He has opened the doors I've been able to walk through, he is sharpening my skills reminds me that while this is uncomfortable and new territory for me, God prepared this for me to do long before I was born. No matter what your feelings try to tell you, you are exactly where you am supposed to be! God is not intimidated or overwhelmed with anything you're facing. He is all knowing and all powerful! You and I both have him in our corner backing us up. Let the weight of your stress shift out of your hands into his. He gave you and I permission, our role is to remember to reset this burden every time we take it back.