I am always amazed at how easy it is to not see the impact of ‘the stress’ I’m carrying on my body until after I’ve turned a corner and found a new perspective. From the luxury of looking back, I can see how much all that I was carrying, unbeknownst to myself, was weighing me down and clouding my vision!
It’s how I feel today.
C.C. came home from hospital yesterday and suddenly, I felt lighter, freer, more optimistic and…. less stressed.
I’m pretty sure if I’d taken a before and after photo of myself, my face would have told the whole story.
I look back on these past two years under Covid’s thrall and wonder how long will it take the world to let go of the fear and uncertainty of these times.
And do we actually know how challenging these times are on psyches?
For example, this week I made the difficult decision to postpone the art journalling workshops I was to have taught at Kensington Art Supplies this month and next. My beloved’s health, Omicron and the stress I was feeling just thinking about walking amidst a group of strangers for 3 hours not fully confident every one of them was ‘Covid-free’ was almost debilitating.
When I sent off my email to the store to say I had to postpone, I felt an immediate sense of relief. When I got an email back that was full of compassion and understanding, I felt even more relief.
I dislike feeling like I’m letting people down or that I’m not following through on my commitments. Yet, my mental health and my beloved’s health are my priority. I know it was the right decision — it doesn’t mean it was an easy one to make.
And maybe that’s the thing. No matter how much I know it’s the right thing, I don’t know how it will impact others — and that’s what I was worrying about.
And so, I smile, raise my arms and throw my arms up in the air and exclaim, “How fascinating!”
I was worried about what others would think.
An old habit.
One I didn’t know was still hanging around, messing with my peace of mind until I came face to face with my own hubris!
We don’t know, until we do.
And sometimes, we discover what we don’t know is actually what we’ve known all along. We are so very human and so very fascinating in all our human conditions.
Old habits die hard. Sometimes, they don’t actually die, they just go underground waiting until an opportune moment to test the foundational strength of our commitment to being true to ourselves.
I didn’t know some of the stress I was carrying had more to do with other people’s opinions of me until I chose to do the right thing and discovered it was an old acquaintance causing me my distress.
In that knowing, I am once again free to travel lightly and joyfully on this road of life.
I can also be confident that I will probably meet up with this acquaintance again (he has deep roots) and when I do, I will have another opportunity to grow through that encounter.
And truly, isn’t that the most fascinating thing ever?
And PS — having C.C. home lifts a whole boatload of stress off my shoulders! Who knew I could carry so much? 🙂