the low level violence of being continually stressed
There is a saying that when the student is ready the teacher appears. In my life this seems to hold true. Where I was lost and searching, the answers or the people would come along .
I’ve always lived in a state of stress. Whether marital conflicts or financial difficulties, or kids or cats or neighbours, there always appeared to be something to cause me stress in my life. To say that now I have no stress would be a lie. But as I learn more about how to live I’m realizing there really are more options than I’d imagined.
Padre Pio, a Catholic saint who died in ’68 told his followers: “If you had any idea what it does to you when you’re beside yourself, stressed, upset, you would stop immediately”. Modern research bears this out. The state of fear/ stress is close to a state of dying. Deepak Chopra describes it this way as well, in very drastic terms. In other words you’re either busy growing or busy dying. The human body is made to live peacefully, our bodily functions work best, as you’ve probably noticed, when on an even keel, when you’re facing life with some equanimity.
When you’re fearful or stressed everything starts to go haywire. (where does that expression come from!!) Digestion’s messed up, heart starts racing, blood pressure goes up, immune system goes AWOL, breathing becomes shallow and organs are deprived of oxygen. And if that’s not enough to scare you, your system starts to shut down, as if in the first stages of dying! No wonder people who are continually stressed don’t live as long.
I remember working with a middle-aged fellow in an office, who was constantly on edge, and we’d often hear him yelling at his wife on the phone. Within a couple of years he had a heart attack and died. The heart didn’t attack him he just never learned how to handle his stress.
Don’t doo dat!