“ I don’t know how I’m going to keep up with all my work. The tip of my head is above the water but the rest of me is underneath.”
Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.
One’s life … cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free. …
Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ‘Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!’ …
Real faith … is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process.
There are two real tests of the strength and quality of any relationship. The first comes under conditions of stress and strain. When all is fine, when the sun is shining, no deep-root relationship structure is required. Appearances seem sufficient, but when the storm breaks, appearances are thrown to the wind, and in the winds that blow then some of us lash out with an ugliness held deep within. We may wound - and wound deeply - the tender sensitive feelings of our spouses or children or others and thereby teach them to be defensive and guarded against such hurts in the future.
...The other test of the quality of relationship is found in the little things of every day, little courtesies, little acts of kindness, the give and take in little moments.
"Men best show their character in trifles, when they are not on their guard...It is in insignificant matters, and in the simplest habits, that we often see the boundless egotism which pays no regard to the feeling of others, and denies nothing to itself." (Arthur Schopenhauer.)
There is, however, a defense against adversity: humor. A thoughtful man said, “There is certainly no defence against adverse fortune which is, on the whole, so effectual as an habitual sense of humor.”
...Cultivating good humor may be helpful in finding our own identity. Young people who are trying to find out who they really are often have concerns as to their ability to meet and cope with the challenges that confront them and that lie ahead. They will find that it is easier to ride over the bumps and come quickly to their own identity if they cultivate the good humor that comes naturally. It is important that we all learn to laugh at ourselves.
To err by having naive expectations concerning the purposes of life is to err everlastingly. Life is neither a pleasure palace through whose narrow portals we pass briefly, laughingly, and heedlessly before extinction, nor is life a cruel predicament in an immense and sad wasteland. It is the middle (but briefest) estate of the three estates in man's carefully constructed continuum of experience.
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