Are you stressed or depressed?
Words that sound so similar but have very different meanings.
Or do they?
How often have you said, “Man, I am so stressed?”
Now think about this for a second: how often have you said, “I feel so depressed.”
Or “I am so sad today and don’t know why.”
Very seldom do we (people in general) sit with our feelings. Instead, we’re always moving on to the next thing or simply saying to ourselves, “I’ll deal with that later.”
We may even subconsciously treat an admission that we’re depressed or feeling something as a weakness, like we bring it to life by saying its name.
But “later” never comes, and those repressed feelings just get bigger and more destructive. It’s harder and harder to identify what is going on and how to deal with the issues that truly bother you.
It’s like a ball of string that gets more and more twisted and turned onto itself, until it’s almost impossible to unravel.
A friend called me the other day and said, “J.D., I could not figure out why I have been so off recently. I then realized that all the stuff going on in Israel is really affecting me. I never thought it would, but it is – and I didn’t know it.”
Things affect people differently. But when we fail to recognize and cope with these emotions and feelings, they often manifest in unexpected and unhealthy ways.
My kids are 10 and 8, and the fact that they are getting older has brought to the surface all kinds of feelings inside of me:
I can’t imagine my kids at that point. However, I’ve had really big emotions around all of that. Likewise, I have strong feelings about what I’ve been witnessing around the world.
Truthfully, I want to feel at peace. I think everyone does once they hit a certain point of experience and maturity.
But the hard part is breaking down the walls of what we already know —building back stronger and better equipped to deal with what comes next. To unravel that twisted pile of string.
So, let’s get clear on what is most important and focus on THAT! After all, that’s all we can control day-to-day.