Be blessed, not stressed…

“Too blessed to be stressed!”  (Seen on a coffee mug), from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

The concept of being “blessed” doesn’t necessarily have to take on religious meaning, but most people associate it with that thought. At its most benign level  it means acknowledging what you have, starting with life itself and adding on from there. One often sees on the nightly news people who have just lost everything that they possessed claiming to be blessed to be alive. They have been stripped of all of the trappings of life, but have come to realize that all of those things matter less than life itself and the lives of the loved one that you may have around you.

Much of the stress in our daily lives does seem to be rooted in spending time worrying afraidabout things that have yet to happen or things that we don’t have, but wish that we did. Almost all of the worry about things that have yet to happen is born in our vivid imaginations, our ability to conjure up the worst case scenarios and play them out in our minds. Things seldom turn out to be as dramatic or dangerous as we imagine them to be; nor, on the flip-side, does the achievement of material success ever turn out to be as sweet as we dreamed it would be. We stress about things because we are not content o live in the moment and be happy with the blessings that we already have.

So; what to do, what to do, to avoid the stress. One might start by sitting quietly and appreciating all of the blessings that we already have, starting with the fact that you made it to another day. Then, add the people around you whom love you and who yousmiling man love and your blessings begin to mount. If you are not homeless, add that in; if you are then perhaps you have found shelter for the night and that is a blessing.  If you had food to eat during the day, even if it was not as much as you had hoped, it was a blessing. If you are not naked, then your clothes are a blessing. One could go on and on, totaling up the little things in life that one has that may be thought of as blessings. You’ll probably be surprised at the length of the list of your blessings and the fact that spending time on being thankful for them leaves you little time to stress over what you don’t have.

Of course, it would be naïve to ignore the hunger and poverty, the illnesses and evil and the injustices in the world around us; so maybe you could spend some time thinking about what you could help to do about some of those issues. Actually doing something might equip you with a purpose and a mission for your life and a life with purpose seldom has time for stress. One might say “I’m busy trying to do good things; I have no time to devote to thoughts about bad things.” Stress is a phenomenon that soup kitchenbreeds best during idle times and those with a mission in life have little of that time to devote to it. You see that type of story every so often in the news too; about the lady who is poor but who devotes her life to running a soup kitchen for people who are even poorer and who seems to be very happy – she doesn’t have time for stress in her life, she’s too busy being helpful and happy. Perhaps this quote from Leo Aikman sums it up best –

“Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.”

So, have a blessed and happy day. You made it to today and that is a great start. Now go find your mission in life and you’ll be too busy to worry.

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