The phrase, “I am trying to keep it in perspective” has come out of my mouth way too often these days. It is not that I am completely loosing it, it is just that I am days, if not hours, away from having my 3rd kid. (This is the second time in a week I write about this, so clearly you know I AM currently struggling a bit with impatience).
Maybe it’s the unknown, the aches and pains or the massive change that my family and I are on the cusp of experiencing that has me so anxious.
Whatever it is, I am happy that my ‘net’ caught me this weekend, so I could turn things around and let go of some of this stress and anxiety. As I regained perspective, I wondered what would have happened if I did not have a net? What if I did not have a system in place that operates automatically, to alert me when I am off track and focusing on the wrong things?
Any woman who has waited and waited and waited to go into labor can hopefully relate to the mind games that occur during these final hours. The emotional toll is almost as trying as the physical one. I have emailed plans A, B and C, to grandparents. My husband is working from home so as not to be too far away if I need him in a hurry. My bag is packed. My husband’s bag is packed. The baby things are washed and set up. With all this preparation it has been a tad trying to focus on other things…BUT…. Just as I was about to loose it… Sunday came, when my family and I head to church. The readings were exactly what I needed to hear. Here I was struggling with so much worry about the future, like;
…When would I go into labor? Who will watch my other kids? How will I go into labor? When will I know what a contraction is? Will I have to wait until mid week to get induced? Will it be a boy or a girl? Will the epidural work this time?….
I was spiraling downward, with stress as my cement shoes; pulling me down. Until I was reminded, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”
This may mean nothing to you, but it was my net. It spoke to my heart and once I read this, I knew that I had lost perspective and needed to take a deep breath and move on. I did not have to worry about such details that have to do with an uncertain future event. I needed to focus on the present and enjoy this downtime with my kids and husband as we wait with joyful anticipation and not stress.
How often do we worry about bills? work? family? the lack of future security? the many ‘what if’s’ of the day? All to let it pull us down a stress spiral? We worry and it affects our mental, emotional and physical health…and if we do not have a net to catch us… we become swallowed in this deep black hole of anxiety. We become overwhelmed with stress.
What is your net? Can you rely on something, in your life that is there for you automatically, to catch you when you are spiraling? Maybe it is a friend who continuously has good perspective. Maybe it is a book that you turn to in times of stress. Could it be an exercise program that allows you time to think and regain focus? Maybe it is a faith community that is there for you when you need to be spiritually fed.
Hopefully you have a net and can identify what that is in your life. And if you don’t, think about creating one that can catch you when you are heading towards a downward stress spiral.