Ah, stress ... a riff on one of our forever companions (Principle 28: CRITICAL MASS)
I can't help but giggle when I encounter a person who claims to be free of stress. Stress is as natural and constant as gravity: it simply is. We've got "good stress" (eustress) and "bad stress" (distress); the middle ground between these extremes is simply stress. I've come to understand this, and in doing so, I am taking stress off my "things to worry about" list. Stress is simply one of the I Ching's 64 universal principles ... one of the Changes that is always working through and with us. How do we work through and with the principle of Stress?
Recognizing stress as one of Life's inevitables lessens its load on us ... I think, It's a given ... I've got to stop fighting it. To think, What's the use? is apt here; to give up this fight is an act of moderating our power into another, wiser use.
"What's the use?" ... I reframe the phrase, think about it differently.
What's the use ... of stress?
What's the use ... I'm not giving up here; I'm giving up this particular mistaken belief that all stress is always bad.
How to use stress? If it's a given, it's always present ... a force that acts on and through us. What can we do differently in relation to the fact of stress?
Humour is always an option:
You're on the phone with your wife and you're saying, "I'm just so disoriented," and she says, "That's because you're not going anywhere; you're just going."
~ Barry Lopez, in an interview ~
Think: hamster on a wheel; frog in a blender; driving pedal to the metal with the emergency brake on. Then see these pictures in your head as a cartoonist would ... and you're smiling, aren't you?
In the first year after my mother died, I often answered people's stock enquiry, How are you??, with "I feel like a frog in a blender, and the sucker's turned on to WHIP!" One of my friends laughed so hard at this that she nearly choked on the joke. She'd never heard the phrase before.
My beloved friend R often answers my How are yous with Hon -- It's too MUCH!! We double over and laugh ourselves witless.
As the sage said,
Sometimes there is nothing to do but have a good laugh!
Illustration credits: "aaah" by the comic-wizards at http://espressoanimation.com/; "Frog in a blender" by vikki-sixxx, via http://deviantart.com/.