Sometimes, things just become too much. Life is busy, and for the most part, it’s a busy we can handle. But then a spanner comes along, and it’s not so easy anymore.
The pressure feels like something has to give.
If there’s one gift you can give yourself to make even the most stressful times less stressful, it’s the gift of the ‘give’. The gift of recognising when something has to give, and allowing it to happen.
When something has to give, we’re encouraged to push through. To keep going, suck it up and soldier on. Rarely does anyone say: what can give? What can you put down for now? How can you take the pressure off?
Allowing something to give is a little bit about prioritising, but mostly about letting go. Allowing imperfection. Acknowledging that maybe, at this moment, you actually can’t do it all and handle everything. And that it’s perfectly OK and acceptable that you can’t. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s just you’ve reached a limit that needs to be respected.
We had a relatively big spanner come into the works of our household recently and it brought with it a bucket load of stress for me. It swamped my time, focus and sapped my energy.
Something really had to give. So I let it.
I let everything slide, including my attitude. I didn’t try to put on a brave face. I cried, I stressed, I sank in to the spanner and dealt with it. I let it envelope me and allowed myself to focus and deal with that alone.
Everything else gave way.
I recognised I had reached a limit. I respected that limit.
By giving myself the gift of the ‘give’, I gave myself breathing room. I gave myself permission to do only what I had to. It gave me the ability to focus on what was most important. It meant I didn’t feel I needed to make excuses for my absences, my distractedness or to feel guilty for performing to a lesser standard.
It meant I didn’t feel the need to keep up appearances, soldier on or achieve anything other than the bare minimums.
Allowing ourselves to drop our bundle sometimes is allowing ourselves to live in a way that is more ease-ful. Not necessarily easy, because when the shit hits the fan, it’s not easy. But reducing pressure, focusing on only what matters, makes the hassle easier to handle.
Sometimes, you just can’t. So don’t.
Honour your limits so that you are more able to deal with what you need to. Honouring your limits is a deeply self-respecting act. It opens the pathway for others to respect your limits too.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: do you honour your limits? Or do you feel it necessary to push through even though you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed?