Saturday, July 2, 2011

Note to Self: Let's Stress Compassion

In my last post I wrote about stress, and how constantly hearing about other people's 'little' problems can try one's patience. Questioning my annoyance, I realized that it was unfair to judge how others deal with stress. This because the only way we can learn how to deal with stress is, unfortunately, to experience it ourselves. Stress is a global human problem, but also a very personal one that can only be truly relevant to the person experiencing it.

In this post I wanted to get to the core reason of writing about this topic. As I contemplated the issue, one of the most obvious conclusions was that it is all relative. I thought of all the people in my life who have been under intense pressure, and my thoughts rested on my Mom, who was so strong while my Dad was in the hospital with a serious condition. Yes, it was difficult for me as a ten year old kid, but as I thought of her, dealing with it herself, I was overcome with compassion. She not only dealt with the overwhelming amount of stress, but she protected me from it. Throughout my childhood, my parents instilled a 'roll with the punches' attitude. If they had not done this, I may not have dealt with the stresses I later experienced in a constructive manner. I thank both of them for their excellent guidance.

So over the past few days I have explored three ideas about stress: 
1) Judging others for how they react to stress is not only unfair, it is impossible. Anything felt by someone else is beyond our experience. I had to take my self and feelings out of the equation to respond to other people's stress more respectfully.   
2) Removing myself from the situation made me especially open to how relative stress is. This reinforced the notion that what I have experienced in my life may seem like a cakewalk to someone else, which in turn helped me generate compassion for others.
3) Attitude is everything in how one deals with stress, regardless of prior experience. Often, we have someone else to thank for helping us develop a positive attitude. I owe that thanks to my parents.

Did this post benefit you? How? Is there anything you would like to add?

May all beings be happy!

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