Stress is an inevitable result of life and it is everyone’s goal to live as stress free as possible. But lately I have felt a little frazzled. Things that normally wouldn’t get on my nerves are really bugging me. Maybe it is because we are in an election year, or perhaps it is because we are saturated with negative news about everything from viruses to the economy.
Personally, I think a lot of my attitude has to do with the fact that it is winter. I always get grumpy when it is dark and dreary. Whatever the reason, I have not been my normal cheery self.
In an attempt to take my mind off of the negative energy that surrounds me, I have been focusing on things I enjoy: reading books I have wanted to read and listening to my favorite music. I even started watching a TV show called Caribbean Life, where people leave the hustle and bustle of the rat race and move to an island beach home.
I am certainly not moving, but it is fun to fantasize about that kind of lifestyle. In my wildest dreams, I am a full-time writer living on the beach without a care in the world. Hey, a girl can dream ...
Ok, back to reality and a recent night when I came home fairly late from work totally exhausted. I was so tired but my mind would not shut off. I could not have slept even if I tried, so I decided to sit up in the living room, get cozy on the couch and sulk. My husband and our dog were fast asleep and the house was completely silent. It was just me, deep in thought when right after 11 p.m., I got a text message from my neighbor, Vanessa, that read:
“The birds are singing an amazing lullaby tonight! I think we are the only ones up but they are amazing tonight!”
I typed back: “I know. I am just sitting here listening to them. It’s wonderful.”
Truth be told, I did not hear the birds. I was so lost in my mind brooding and stressing over things that may or may not happen that I did not notice the birds. It wasn’t until Vanessa sent me that message that I heard them.
Once I got out of my head and became present in the moment, the birds came into focus.
Spectacular is the only word to describe what I was hearing. There must have been hundreds of birds. I don’t know if I ever heard a more beautiful song. To think that I shut out all the beauty that was surrounding me in favor of worrying.
A Buddhist Proverb says, “If you have a problem that can be fixed, then there is no use in worrying. If you have a problem that cannot be fixed, then there is no use in worrying.”
And I can not forget two of my favorite Bible verses.
Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:27: “Who, of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
The birds sang for another 15 minutes or so and in that time I forgot all my cares, relaxed my mind, laid my head on my pillow and fell peacefully to sleep. Life is mysterious.