A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.” Remember to put the glass down.
I think I have a few glasses that need to be put down.
1. my marriage-I did absolutely EVERYTHING I could to make it work… but I was completely alone in that work.
2. my past sexual history-I was raped. I was abused. I was given a disease by my ex that will now color everything else I do.
3. my failures- there are a lot of them. I haven’t had a relationship or a job that worked out for very long.
4. my personality-according to the day I’ve had, I’m an idiot. Or I’m condescending to the point that I make people so defensive that they can’t listen to me.
5. my needs-those are far outweighed by others. I should just rearrange my life to accommodate others, because that’s what I have always done.
I’m spinning today. And I know tomorrow will be better. I’ll get back on track, I won’t feel abandoned, lost or afraid. I’ll find a way to be strong, to muddle through-to fake it until I make it. But today it feels like I’ve been holding that stupid glass all damn day!