R-E-L-A-X

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. Written in 1859.

Most people I know say they hate drama. Many people I know cannot stop talking about the drama that they hate. Or reading about the drama that they hate. Or watching videos about the drama that they hate.

Like me, do you find yourself saying often, “This is the best ever {fill in the blank}” or “This is the worst ever {fill in the blank}”, about things and events both consequential and inconsequential? Then you, like me, may hate drama.

In the infamous words of Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, during a call-in radio show in September 2014: “Five letters here just for everybody out there in Packer-land: R-E-L-A-X. Relax. We’re going to be OK”.

1859. 2014. 2020. 2022. These are times when good and bad exist all around us. None of us are healthier when we allow ourselves to get caught up in the drama. The good we experience is almost certainly not the best ever. The bad we experience is almost certainly not the worst ever. They are merely the good and bad of today.

Now let me be clear. Some of us have lives in this moment that are chock full of good. This should be celebrated with much humble gratitude. And some of us have lives in this moment that are full of incredibly hard things. This should be lamented and properly grieved. And we need to do both of these with and for each other, regardless our own circumstances.

Most of us have lives in this moment that are marked by both good and bad circumstances, relationships, and expectations. Wherever you fall in this spectrum – and chances are you will be in all these places over the course of time – it serves you well to R-E-L-A-X (let me call it rest). Be grateful, lament and grieve as the situations calls for, but do not get swept away by the emotional roller-coaster of the best and worst of times. These are merely the times we have been called to live.

Feeling anxiety would be the antithesis of resting. Being anxious is a natural response to our circumstances, but just because it is natural does not mean it is healthy. Anxiety will rob you of your emotional health and leads to deterioration of physical and spiritual health as well. Prayer, meditation, empathy from family & friends are the salves that can heal anxiety. Remember that it is the healing you are aiming for. Wallowing in misery may be easier, but it is not healthy. {Some of you have a medical chemical imbalance that causes anxiety – seek the professional help you need without feeling guilt.}

To the extent it is within your control, avoid the anxiety in the first place by recognizing that these are neither the best of times nor the worst of times. They are merely the times we have been called to live. Live them well.

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