Over the last few weeks, there has been a confluence of things that have been….shall we say…..stressing me out.
I have spent the last year serving on the search committee for a new minister at my church. It has been an intense project and one that is about to draw to a close. I am so grateful that I was chosen for this task and I’m glad I said yes. That said, it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been a lot of work and energy. As we’re coming to an end, there have been a lot of balls to juggle to pull this off and it has really begun to wear on me. It will be fine, the final week will be a great success but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost.
When I have shared with some friends that I have been worried about this....when I have shared that I have lost some sleep over the logistics....when I share that I am absolutely stressed out – I have been surprisingly met not with empathy but a cavalier attitude that I shouldn’t be worried, it will be fine, don’t sweat it.
Frankly? That attitude has pissed me the hell off. I spent the vast, vast majority of my life not feeling my feelings. Ignoring them, stuffing them down – not being willing to feel discomfort. Over the last 3 or so years, I have worked very hard to learn to identify and more importantly to be ok with feeling bad. Feeling bad isn’t a problem in and of itself. Wallowing in it for an extended period of time may be a bit much depending on the situation but bad feelings alone are not only ok but they are important. They are a valuable part of the full expression of the human experience.
Three years ago I was at my lowest. I really couldn’t see very much good in my life but I have worked incredibly hard to get a place where I am happy in my life and I am happy with who I am. That doesn’t mean though that there are things that I don’t like. It doesn’t mean that I don’t get frustrated about things at work, things in my home etc. It doesn’t mean that I am not choosing to see the good, it doesn’t mean that I am focusing on the bad. It simply means that I am frustrated by a situation and I have feelings about it. I know that I live a really great life. I am lucky to be who I am and where I am. That doesn’t mean though that I don’t have bad days - that I don’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed, that don’t get tired of situations that I am unable to change.
I think it is the denying of those feelings that is the problem. It isn’t feeling them – it isn’t owning them, working through them and moving on that is the problem – the problem would be ignoring them and that is something that I absolutely no longer choose to do.