Beliefnet
Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Second close-up of picturePolitics, weather changes, back-to-school/work/life in general…Patience?

It might seem as if this season of external stresses  that’s pressing upon our internal resilience will never end. But, blessedly, it will. And if we apply patience to these next few days, we’ll be in good shape for the rest of the year! It all just takes a bit of understanding about time.

Election Day will come and go, weather patterns will finally settle from autumn to winter, and we will find our footing in new schedules (or maintain the old ones). Time is like a wonderful river that doesn’t stagnate, but continues moving. It moves the things that might make our anxiety and tension build within.

I have been taking a lot of deep breaths during this political season, nurturing patience within. Although these do nothing to change what’s happening in the public landscape, they have been wonderfully supportive of inner stress-relief. As I outline in my book, Don’t Panic!: How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough, deep breathing physically does have benefits. So too do emotional and spiritual deep breathing.

One form of emotional deep breathing that I particularly like is laughter. I try to find something each day to laugh about. Of course, this helps remind me to physically take deep breaths, but it also helps me maintain some degree of optimism. It helps me appreciate life, even in the seemingly smallest of ways.

A way to spiritually deep breath is to worship God in church with our faith community. Turning our focus (eyes, ears, and heart) to God in this way supports our faith practice. It gives us time to re-sort where we place priorities. How greatly important it is to spend more time praying and praising God!

Of course, even with these activities, we might still be caught up in the tension that will culminate in Election Day, or some other stressor. When/if we do, a reminder that time is passing and life is moving ahead can help us better understand our place in God’s world – He made everything, including the passage of time. He understands our anxiety, and so gives us the blessing of knowing that we must do what we can to continue to praise and thank our Creator – hanging in there with all our prayerful patience.

And time, and we, will move on.

Peace!

Maureen

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