Letting Go 3:4
…continued from Letting Go
Whether we live in a bustling metropolis, a crowded suburb, or a sleepy rural area, most of us are always and utterly busy with things to do, places to go, people to see. And there’s never enough time to do it all. Feed the kids, walk the dog, visit your mother, please the boss. And even if you have help, the responsibilities of it all seem to fall on your shoulders, and you feel like you’re doing it all even if you’re not. Pay the bills, water the plants, research colleges, visit the accountant, keep in touch with friends. Stress and anxiety build up to overwhelm you; even small decisions seem monumental and become difficult to make. What to wear to work. Where to eat lunch. What to buy Dad for his birthday.
The stress that results from such overload affects all areas of our lives—our performance at work, our relationships with friends and lovers, our self-esteem, the way we treat our pets. The least little thing can cause us to “lose it” and then engage in regrettable behavior or say things we don’t mean. Sound familiar? We have all done this at one point or another. Following the Quiet Corner path you will learn how to lessen your stress, manage your life, and deal with whatever comes your way.
Even if we’ve learned to let go, even if we’ve made time to sit and breathe, even if we’ve talked to several people about our plight, sometimes nothing seems to work. It’s all just too much. Sometimes we truly want to disappear. We don’t care about finding our voice. We just want to be someone else with a different life.
The good news is that this is all quite normal, and there is a creative solution that will cause no harm. Although a temporary fix, it is critical to carry with you in your new Quiet Corner box of tools. You can simplify your life immediately by taking just one issue that presently gnaws at you and putting it aside. Tell yourself to simply “put it on the shelf.” Imagine a shelf in your Quiet Corner built for the explicit purpose of holding all those things that you can’t quite contain for the moment. All those things that are spilling over from your head and heart, things that are creating stress and undue anxiety in your life.
Start by relieving yourself of issues that are furthest away. The visit you are planning to your in-laws next month. There’s too much emotional strain in their home right now, or you just don’t get along—the last thing you need with all that’s happening in your own home is to spend time with them. Keep the plan, but put it on the shelf. You don’t have to decide today whether you should go. Deal with it next week. Then, the meeting scheduled with your boss tomorrow.
You’re prepared, ready for it, so put it on the shelf until tomorrow. You will be there soon enough, no need to worry about what might transpire. Continue to sort through the confusion and clear stuff away so that you have some breathing room. Even the decision you’re struggling with about returning to school next year. Put that on the shelf. Remember, you’re not discarding any of these things or even forgetting about them. For that matter, you’re not putting them out of sight. You’re just putting them on your Quiet Corner shelf. They are there, ready and waiting for you when you are ready for them.
And even if you don’t return on your own to the things you’ve put on your shelf, you will be reminded of them when they fall off and hit you in the head, when it’s time to face them again.
Putting things on the shelf is not to deny their existence, it’s just to clear away the space they take up in your mind and heart, keeping you from hearing your deep inner truth.
So move them out of the way. Spend time on your inner journey. And deal with them one at a time when the time is right.