I often resist getting up and doing a simple, short task, one I know will take but minutes. Like putting away the last two bags of groceries. I”ll walk past the job, sit and look at the job, tell myself I should “just do it” but – resistance. Resistance that feels like walking through thick mud. A wall that I can’t penetrate. A door I can’t unlock. A conversation with myself swirls in my head. I should just do it. Yes, later. It wouldn’t be a big deal to just do it. Yes, later. Why later? Too tired, too stressed. Why is stress a reason to not put away the last of the groceries? I can’t do it when I am stressed, because…
And then my words stop, a blank space mid-thought, and I cannot complete the sentence.
Stress. An interesting reason to not put away the groceries. Someone once told me that in the center of all stress is unresolved grief. I found this to be strangely true. Could be a small regret or a heartbreaking loss but yes, stress is grief. Unresolved grief; it immobilizes me because in grief I feel the most disconnection to love, to God, to hope. Without love, God and hope, my “motivation” is sapped. And I could not care less if the groceries sit there for days.
In stress, which I now know is grief – this is when I most need to be loved. How would I treat someone I care for who is grieving? With great gentleness, with attention to their basic needs. Without a second thought I’d say, let me put away the groceries for you.
All of a sudden, putting away my groceries is the most compassionate thing I can do for myself in this moment. I place the items on the shelves and say a small prayer for my grief as the sacks are emptied. The swirling thoughts stop and peace floods through me as I fold the last bag. I have learned from Flylady, how to find peace in FLYing.