One thing that people want to know about often is how to get stress out of their being or tension out of their bodies or out of their minds. And, it requires a little work, it requires a little honesty. You have to really assess it properly.
First of all, you can’t judge it immediately and say, “I shouldn’t be tense and I shouldn’t be stressed out.” You actually have to feel the stress and feel the tension and feel where it’s coming from. Like, is it coming from an evaluation of yourself that is falling short of your expectations or is it coming from the outside – somebody’s thinking something about you and your pretty stressed out about how they see you, how they care about you, what kind of demands they’re placing on you, what kind of expectations that they have?
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And, I think everybody could admit that the pressure they put on themselves is probably more intense than the pressures other people put on them. But, the real problem is that we don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing and so we don’t do it and then people start putting pressure on us or we feel pressure to be doing something that we’re not even doing yet. Like, even that mysterious feeling of uncomfortability that something shouldn’t be happening and, “I’m not doing it and why am I not doing it? And, people are probably noticing and that’s why I feel nervous about it.”
That’s kind of a loop in the head. First of all, feel the discomfort. And, then look at what you know you should be doing – even if it’s tasks. Like, do these jobs you have in the home, stuff that the home needs, the house needs, the apartment needs, things that people have asked you to do and then see, if you did those, would your stress go away? Would the pressure go away?
So start doing them. Don’t fight with the fact somebody wants that. Just start doing them – like a list. Just check them off, one at a time, as efficiently and as quickly as you can without a lot of brooding over them, without a lot of thought about it. And, what will happen is you’ll start to get a little exhausted because you’re actually working and, instead of the exhaustion from all the tension of not doing something, you have that good feeling exhaustion of having actually done something. So, that will relieve that tension and that stress.
If you’ve examined it properly, some of the expectations that other people have are right for you, and some of them are insane. Because, what do they know about what you need to do? But, sometimes they do expect certain things that you should be doing. So that’s what you weigh out. You might even have to write those down. Like, what do people expect of me? And, is it okay to expect that of you?
Maybe it’s absolutely traditional to expect that people pick up their stuff that they throw on the floor of an apartment, or that they say thank you when somebody gives them something. You know, these are expectations. I think those are normal. I think that’s wise. I think if you don’t, people wonder if you were raised by wolves or something just because the generosity is not in you yet to give of yourself.
But, I think we have to talk about the guilty conscience part of tension because, that’s the part of you that knows that you should be doing something and haven’t been doing it. And so, you shouldn’t be protesting feeling guilty for not doing things that you know that you should do. The remedy is just do them. Get going. Work hard. Focus. Check them off the list and you’ll feel better.
Now, I want to talk about the psychological problem of just being nervous and tense, which is that you don’t like yourself – maybe the parents didn’t like you either.
It’s easy for children to think that, if the parents don’t even see them, that they don’t like them. Or, if the parents don’t even notice anything about the kid, that they’re not well loved. And, I think that’s true. They’re not. If the parents aren’t paying attention, they don’t know how to love yet. So, the person feels sort of out in the wind, on their own without any format, without any structure.
And so, there’s a lot of adults that weren’t parented, and you can see that in the world. They have no idea who they are or why they’re doing what they’re doing. They’re just lost and they’re scraping with their nails on the middle school chalkboard, trying to figure out how to get attention.
And, that kind of tension is from not being loved. It’s a nervousness that, no matter what you do, you’re not gonna get that approval or that caring or that wise nurturing that a paying attention parents can give. Honestly, I’m not sure that humans are very good at this. And, I think that’s why people are thinking about God – because God is perfect at caring and nurturing and loving and supporting and teaching and instructing people in the wisdom of God and the wisdom of them.
You don’t really get that from people. They’re not very trained in that yet. You’re not gonna get that peace that you’re looking for with another person, or possibly even with yourself.
How do you get perfected if you’re still a bunch of problems? If you’ve still got a bunch of acting out energies in you, how do you get perfected to the place where you overcome that without somebody wiser than you helping you? I know, it was so frustrating to look to the parents and expect magnificent, perfect love from them – total approbation and concern, wise caring and just thoughtful teaching. You know, it’s very idealistic isn’t it? That didn’t happen for almost anyone, and I think that’s God’s sense of humor.
Seriously, God’s going, “I’m the only one that can give you that. Humans can’t do that. They can do it poorly. They could do it a little.” Only God can do that. And so, that’s the inside joke God has is that, when you finally look for God – really, not in a religious way but in a real way, in an experiential, meditative inner way – you finally get the teachings and the instruction and the care and the love and support and the wisdom that you were looking for. It takes a lot of work though.