Monday, February 27, 2017

Dealing With Stress

I have a tendency to get stressed about paperwork.  Things like taxes look like King Kong to me before I start working on them.  I have had a lot of paperwork to do lately.  I have felt layers and layers of stress eating me from the inside out.  So, I sat there in prayer in stress and wondered if I needed to go back to counseling.  I felt overwhelmed.

I recognized that Christ is not asking me to be stressed.  He is also not going to do that paperwork for me.  This is "trouble" for me to handle.   He doesn't give me more than I can handle, it only feels that way.  I prayed and prayed and studied the Scripture readings with the Masses at the current time frame.  And I prayed some more.

Somebody appeared who was able to help with one piece of the paperwork.  What had seemed impossible to me was easy for that person.  Christ provides a community to be here to help each other, if only we ask. I bought the tax program that I need to try to do my taxes.  That is a start.  I have done taxes before.  I can do it now.  Or, if I can't, I can hire some help.  Christ provides community to help. There is still a lot of paperwork to tame.  It helps to remember that if I am not able to figure something out, somebody can assist me.

Some of it, I have to do.  I have to untangle the paperwork junkyard myself.  I dread it.  I get stuck on things.  I can't find things I am looking for.  I feel overwhelmed.  I have forced myself to stay home on weekends to try to accomplish the organization I crave.  But, I have spent several full days avoiding working on the paperwork.

Yesterday, I decided to give up and visit a friend in the hospital.  I decided that I would rather spend time with this friend than do the paperwork.  I spent several hours at the hospital with her.  I sighed on the drive home, that once again I would have all of that paperwork undone. 

But, Christ surprised me.  I decided to work on a few things and see what I could get done.  Things fell into place.  Paperwork that had overwhelmed me fell into place.  I was able to figure out what to do with it.  I did it.  I got a lot done.  I hadn't thought I would get more than a couple of things done with the few hours on Sunday evening, but I got a big chunk of it done.

At the conclusion of this, I have to say that the things I learned about dealing with stress are many I need to ask for help.  I need do important things like visit the sick instead of making the stress producer the priority.  I need to break the stress producer into smaller parts.  I need to assume that I won't be able to complete everything in one sitting, but rather do a piece at a time.  And over it all, pray. In this world there will be troubles, but Christ has conquered the world.

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