The stresses and worries in life weigh on you like a glass of water. Think about them for hours, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.
When the glass runs over
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question.
Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
The answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
Then she said, “The absolute weight doesn’t really matter. What does however, is how long I can hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm.
If I hold it for several hours, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. And holding it for a day will probably send me to my grave.
In any of these time frames, the weight of the glass doesn’t change; yet the longer I hold it, the heavier it will become.” (I remember growing up that mom had us hold a plastic glass or carafe with water, arm stretched out, if any of her five sons became to full of himself!)
The psychologist continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a short while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them for hours, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything. Think about them all day long or for days on end and you find yourself on a shortcut to eternity. Remember to put the glass down.”
I was thinking about the power of stress this afternoon after I read a true to form passage on religious eternity from author, polemicist, debater, and journalist Christopher Hitchins, who departed us at age 62 in 2011 and I wondered if he had found the truth about the religious premise he projected during his life, that at one point in time you get tapped on the shoulder and someone says: The Party is over. Worse yet, the party is going on but you have to leave. The party is going on without you.
He wondered if that could be what upsets people most about their anticipated demise; the fact that the party goes on.
I have promised myself from here on on to put the glass down more often.