A few days later I was finding myself cranked up, frustrated, resentful, overwhelmed and downright grouchy. These negative emotions were lasting for days and were starting to overwhelm me to the point that I was seriously thinking I might not be far away from a breakdown. My overwhelm was bubbling to the surface and I was afraid soon I may lose control and do something rash (and probably counter-productive).
Have you ever felt this way? Like your never ending to-do list or your relatives, coworkers, business partners, kids, grocery clerks, etc., may just push you over the edge? Like the world is conspiring to drive you crazy? That you alone carry all the responsibility while everyone else seems to just be leisurely going about their day?
Then, in a moment, I had an epiphany that led me to relook at everything. What happened? I was driving along the highway, when a deer almost ran out in front of me. She changed her mind at the last minute and turned back into the median. But then I realized she was trapped and she was panicking. She was trapped in a small median with 2 lanes of 70 MPH traffic on each side of her. She was scared and confused and didn’t know where to go or what to do. She was completely overwhelmed by the movement in her path and didn’t seem to know what to do. At any moment she was going to make a wrong move and the results would be detrimental.
I quickly took a deep breath and tried to will her a sense of peace and calm, imaging her panic eased before she made a wrong choice and ended up in front of a car. I attempted to somehow support her telepathically, because I was unable to do anything else. As I did this, it occurred to me that I have been feeling just like her. Freaked out, frustrated and completely overwhelmed by situations surrounding me. I was dangerously close to making decisions from this place (rather than a calm, well thought out decision) But then I realized, while her stressors were real (she was in a dire situation), mine were almost all in my head.
I’m overwhelmed with a to-do list of things that will not kill me if they go undone. I am resentful of situations that really aren’t a big deal (it’s just the principle of the thing). I am overwhelmed with balancing family, job, my business and still have some time for me. All of these things stress me only because I let them. I am stressing myself out…I can’t put that on anybody else.
I happened to be lucky enough that day to be meeting a coach for coffee. We hashed out my experiences over the last few days and discussed a few tools/concepts about responsibility and resentment. (one is the Responsibility Square, the other is the Mastery Grid- check them out if you ever feel resentment).
This is the Mastery Grid below...
I sometimes struggle with these concepts because as a rule, I am a nice, helpful, supporting and ambitious person. If something needs to be done, I can’t relax until it’s complete (or at least until there is a plan). This often leads me to do things for people, to take over tasks and to just stress out about things, even when they aren’t mine to worry about. I choose to take responsibility for others and then I feel resentful and frustrated. I lose balance. Ever do that???
So I am reminded this week, to notice when I’m out of balance and taking on things that aren’t mine…to stop and put it in perspective…Nothing is trying to kill me, I’m not on fire and I’m not trapped like a deer in traffic. I sit in meditation and send myself the same peaceful, calm energy I was sending to that deer. Reminding myself to be calm and relaxed, and make the decision to do or not to do, from a place of centered clarity. Sigh…feels good.
And because life is better when we can laugh at ourselves....
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.