Nine Reasons You Are Not Crazy Even If You Think You Are

Stressed business woman is going crazyYou live a busy life. There is so much demanded of you. You are expected to get the kids ready for school everyday. Then there are the after-school activities that take up many of your evenings. You have ageing parents and they need a lot of your time.  Every weekday you are expected at work to give it your all. You have a colleague at work who makes life miserable for you. Then there is all the financial stress. You hate being in debt, but to afford the house you live in you had to take out a large mortgage.  No wonder you are feeling stressed and crazy!

No matter the type of stresses you face in your life there are healthier ways to respond.  Your body, emotions and thoughts are there to help you to live your lives well. They let you know when you are trying to do too much. They let you know when you have become unbalanced. They let you know when you need to make changes in your lives for your well being.

Not only do our bodies, emotions and thoughts let you know when you are in trouble but they help you to find meaning, purpose and joy in life. They show you where your passions and gifts are. They lead you on a path to self enquiry. They help you to stay healthy. When all your channels are open life flows more easily.

In this article, I am going to describe nine ways your anxiety and feelings of craziness are waking you up to finding a more happy and meaningful life. The sensations, emotions and thoughts you are having are only proving how human you are.

1. Your body is your friend! All the discomfort you are feeling is your body calling you to attention. Your body communicates with you through all the sensations you experience such as an upset stomach, tension in your shoulders, relaxed muscles and/or a sensation of energy (vitality) moving around your whole body. You will feel a sense of relief every time you listen to your internal wisdom.

2. Your heart is your path to intimacy with self and others. If your heart is feeling tender and hurt it is calling for your attention. Your heart needs to be heard. When you risk really feeling what is going on with your emotions you will be rewarded with a peace within you that nothing else can provide. A tender heart may lead to feelings of craziness, but it is more importantly a sign of your humanity and a guide for your soul.

3. Does your mind feel out of control? You might be suffering with monkey mind. Your mind has most likely got caught up with your ego going to great extremes to trying to protect you. It may feel like a hurricane is blowing through you. This can be unsettling.

But it is not proof you are going crazy. It is a reminder to find some sort of practice to     quiet your mind. We all need our egos to survive, but often our ego’s get in our way           limiting us in how we respond to life. You have opportunities coming up in your life       that will surprise you and delight you!

4. Your discomfort is calling you to risk new ways of being. We would never grow emotionally and spiritually unless we experienced some sort of struggle, discomfort and/or pain.

Most of us grow the most during times of distress in our life. It motivates us to seek         the help we need. It motivates us to take risk trying out new ways of being that                 maybe a few weeks ago felt too overwhelming.

5. The muscles in our body show us when we are happy, when we are relaxed, when we are upset, when we are angry, and when we are frustrated. Often are muscles are more honest about what is going on inside us than what are head convinces us to think.

Unless we are sick are the muscles don’t lie. So, paying attention to the sensations of         our muscles give us great wisdom into what is really going on inside us. Do you have       monkey mind?

6. Sleepless nights are not pleasant especially when they continue for days. Your inner self is probably trying desperately to control everything in your life. The truth is that there is much in your life that you can not control.

It is learning to know the difference between what you can change and what you               can not. You may be feeling more and more crazy with little sleep and yet the                       struggle is calling you back to balance.

7. Are you having a hard time getting out of bed? Your body is likely craving more sleep. What else might your body be craving? Do you need more exercise? Do you need to eat healthier? How about a holiday?

Your wise body is trying to tell you to care better for your self. Have you been                     checked out by your doctor lately? If you pay attention your body it will let you                   know when you are overdoing it.

8. On those days, you are feeling too embarrassed to be among friends, colleagues, and/or family because you worry that others will think you are crazy; take a deep breath. The good news is that you are no crazier than anyone else.

Part of being human is the assumption we make that no other person could                       understand what we are going through.  The truth is that we are not alone. Other               people have suffered in the same way we have. Your true friends will accept you for         who you are.

9. If you are crazy you would not know that you are. The good news is that you are a beautiful person having very ordinary and yet extraordinary experiences. You can be thankful for the wisdom that comes from your bodies, emotions and thoughts and it is available to you everyday. This wisdom can guide you to healthier and happier living making the world a better place one person at a time. Honor yourself by listening to your inner world.

Beautiful young woman smilingYou have nothing to be ashamed of. If you were not feeling all that you are then you would have good reason to worry.

The good news is that you are a human being on a journey towards healing and wholeness.  When our three channels are open body, emotions and thoughts we have all we need to make our way in your world. The sensations, emotions, and thoughts are like sign posts on the highway giving us direction, pointing to places of beauty, places of importance, warning us of dangers, showing us places of interest and places to avoid.

Our anxiety are signs that we are being nudged to be more present so we can pay attention to the wisdom within us. Feelings of craziness are merely a sign that you are alive and that your internal self is calling upon you to make change in your life.

Take the risk to experience all of you both inward and outward. It takes some time to get used to being on this journey, but it is well worth the effort.  You will find an inner peace that nothing else can offer. Life will still have its struggles but it will go more smoothly and feel less overwhelming.

Roland Legge offers life coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online at   https://www.relconsultants.com/calendar/ .  Please click on “Discovery Call”.

 

Hope in the Midst of Suffering

Easter Four: April 26th 2015

Reflection on Psalm 23:

By Roland Legge

 

 

How many times have you heard the 23rd Psalm?  I expect many of us have heard this hundreds of times.  But what does it mean?  Fred Craddock says:

Regardless of how one interprets the psalm, the general picture of what is stressed is quite clear.  One who has known trouble or experienced life-threatening situations has also experienced the protection of the Divine.  The psalm exudes confidence that God protects so that whatever life brings to his people, they will not be overwhelmed.

Preaching the New Common Lectionary Year B Lent, Holy Week, Easter by Fred Craddock, John H. Hayes, Carl R. Holladay and Gene M. Tucker P.G. 190

 

But, how does this prayer make you feel?  Does it make you feel safe?  Does it help you to feel God’s presence?  Does it help you to remember that God promises to never abandon us? Does it give you comfort?  Does it help to free you of your pain?

For me it does all of what I mentioned except take the pain away.  I like how Craddock shows how the author of Psalm 23 honestly presents the human predicament:

This psalm presents the human predicament without any illusion about persons beings superhumans and above pain, loneliness, and lostness; yet the symbol of God as protector and even corrector affirms the potential of a tranquil life lived amid adversaries and the harsh realities that are the ingredients of every life.

Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary P.G. 190-191

While it does not take our pain away it gives us more confidence to move ahead even though there will be times of pain and difficulty. It helps us to stay more attuned to the spirit present and available to each of us in our own bodies, minds and souls.  Do you have that connection with the Divine, the Holy, the Sacred that the author of Psalm 23 seems to have?

The language of shepherding may not be a useful image for us today, because most of us don’t know shepherds. To give us a sense of Shepherding in Ancient times in the Middle East, Matthew Penny says this on The Worship Place, a United Church on-line community:

In fact Shepherds were often hired hands who were indentured to a rich landowner almost in perpetuity.

They were not popular.  They were looked down upon as being less than whole. Knowing this about shepherd what metaphors would you use today that we are familiar with?

Today this very day many people have written their own interpretations of the 23rd Psalm.   I share two with you today as one of many tools to deepen our understanding of this awesome Psalm.   The first is written by Julia Esquivel who opens his heart to us and showing us what Psalm 23 meant for him on that day he wrote it.

When the hour comes,

you shall change my desert into a waterfall,

you shall anoint my head with fresh oil

and your strength shall overcome my weakness.

 

You shall guide my feet into your footsteps

and I will walk the narrow path

that leads to your house.

 

You shall tell me when and where

I will walk your path totally bathed in joy.

In the meantime,

I ask you, Lord, you who awaken

in the most intimate place in my soul

the Feast of Life!

That of the Empty Tomb!

That of the Victorious Cross!

 

Let your voice mistaken as the Gardener’s

awaken my hearing every morning

with news that’s always fresh:

“Go and tell my brothers and sisters

that I have overcome death,

that there is a new place for everyone

there where the New Nation is built.

 

There, where neither earth, love, or joy

can be bought or sold,

where wine and milk

are shared without money and without price.”

Julia Esquivel, Threatened with Resurrection, The Brethren Press.

 

Then on the lighter note but yet powerful is Jim Taylor’s version:

Blessed relief

God keeps a cool café. What more could I ask?

She provides a comfortable chair to take the weight off my weary feet;

she puts up an umbrella to shade me from the sun;

she serves me iced tea.

Though I have battled with the crowds at the bargain counters,

though I have suffered the scent of too many sweaty bodies,

I don’t care.

I know what’s waiting for me at the end of the day.

An ice cream cone. It drips over the edges, and I lick it up gratefully.

I close my eyes;

the sound system plays the gentle chuckles of waves lapping on a shore.

I am content.

I would love to sit here forever.

In God’s cool café.

James Taylor, Everyday Psalms, © 1994 Wood Lake Books. Used by permission.

 

Which of these two different versions speak to you most today?  For me they both focus on the presence of God through the Holy Spirit.

I hope that our congregation can become more and more the place where we will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I hope that it will become so abundant that it will spill over into the rest of our lives.  But we all need to keep sharing our love, talents and time.  God can not do it alone.

God needs each of us to do our part.  That might mean we need to call someone up to see how they are if we have not seen them recently at church.  It might mean that we need to invite someone to a church service or some other activity.  Probably one of the most profound ways to share God’s love with another person is to simply spend time with them being fully present to them, whether that be sitting quietly next to them, possibly holding their hand, and listening to what ever they need to say. The story I am going to talk later about on the hospitality shown through the two cups of coffee are perfect examples of what I am talking about here.    I can think of many times when people have given me exactly what I needed at the time.  These were people who were following their calling by listening to their hearts, minds and intuition.

In the end God’s promises us is to journey with us and give us the signs we need to know the direction that God calls us to be going.  But what is even more amazing is that when and if we make a mistake God will use that to bless the world and give us countless more opportunities to turn our lives around.

 

 

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