Sunday, May 31, 2015
Explode or Implode: The Building is Still Coming Down #Stress
However, one thing really stood out to me on my trip was a visit to a church on that Sunday morning. The pastor's sermon fell in line with one of my recent blog posts called "The Burden of the Stress Catcher". It was as if he was speaking directly to me. Needless to say, I was very attentive and could identify with almost every point he was making.
He talked about how people who are relied upon the most are usually the last to receive help themselves. I thought about how often I come to the aid of people for so many things. Most of them are small contributions, but they're contributions all the same. I do it for the "thank you's" because I really don't expect much else from people other than that.
Although those who know me well would probably jokingly disagree, I am human. I have feelings. I deal with problems and turmoil in life. But I rarely feel like I'm able to express those feelings to anyone. Most people in my life are so used to me being "the strong one" that they rarely notice (or care) that something is bothering me. And even if they get an inclination that something is wrong, they may ask "what's wrong?", but if I say "nothing" because I'm uncomfortable discussing it at that time then the conversation pretty much ends there.
One thing that I do better than anyone that I know is read people. I know what makes people tick and I use that to determine their moods. Being able to see that someone is in need of something coupled with my willingness to help people almost compels me to step in and try to make things better when things are bad. I always want to help fix the problem. The downside is that I know that person won't be there for me in the same capacity or will let me down in an attempt to do so. Yet I still put forth the effort to brighten their day.
7 days a week I've done this since as long as I can remember. In work life or home life I'm making someone smile. I'll see that someone appears to be down and I may compliment them to cheer them up. I'll notice someone with a confused look and I'll ask questions to see if I can help. You can't help everyone, but it's comforting to them to know that someone at least thought enough of them to try.
Someone once told me that is the reason I have no known enemies. Because I've probably helped them, too, in some shape, form, or fashion. Yet to express how I feel, blogging is the safest venue for me to vent. It prevents me from potentially offending anyone, or having to listen to unsolicited advice, or avoid having someone try and one-up my problems with one of their own. The latter I encounter regularly because I'm supposed to be "the strong one," right? My problems don't matter. Some people seem to think that I can deal with my problems on my own so they gloss over mine and present me theirs.
Despite all of my rantings, I'm not without loved ones. There are people in my life who care for me and want to see me happy. It's unfair of me to expect them to read my moods as easily as I read theirs. You have to really be in tune with people to realize that something is off and my personality is difficult to figure out.
I maintain a positive attitude because that is what keeps me going. I can be extremely sad or mad and not always show it because I don't like for either of those emotions to dominate my life for long periods of time. To not be that way is to rely on society to bail me out of my bad feelings and I can't take a chance on them accepting that challenge. Even when I'm "not feeling myself" people would assume that I'm simply just tired before they would assume that I'm stressed. And even if I did open up to someone, would they be unbiased or would they be judgmental? I usually encounter one if not both when presenting problems to people. That's why it's easier to keep certain things to myself and figure it out on my own.
But, the one thing the pastor said on Sunday that really resonated with me was this: "Regardless if it explodes or implodes, the building is still coming down. Let it out." He was referring to keeping stress pinned up inside of ourselves. Either you can explode in anger or allow it to slowly kill you inside, but either way your temple will be destroyed.
I've got to work on preserving my temple. Just a few weeks ago I posted about how I've embraced being people's"stress catcher" over the years and now I'm realizing that someone needs to catch mine now and then!
I've got to stop allowing my happiness to be dictated by other people's happiness. I have to find more people I trust enough to ask for help when I need someone to listen to me. I've got to stop getting the short end of the stick and focus on myself before "my building" starts to crumble. Because although I'm looking out for others, others aren't always looking out for me.