Letting go of Stress

Letting go of Stress

My mom is a practicing Catholic, so, like most practicing Catholics, she decided that she would raise her children in the church. So when I was growing up, every Sunday (like clockwork) she would wake my sister, brother, and me up, feed us, dress us, and then usher us into the car so that we could go to church. When I was really young, I went to children’s church. This was essentially a mini church just for kids that took place during the regular service so that we could learn in about God and the bible in a way that mad sense to us. Unfortunately, that didn’t last forever. When I got older, I had to sit inside of church with everyone else. During my first few years out of children’s church I didn’t pay any attention to anything that was going on during the service. I got to see all of my church chums when I went to mass, so I basically used it as a time to hang out with them. I couldn’t have cared less about whatever the priest was talking about in his homilies. The readings I heard went over my head, and the songs went in one ear and out the other. However, as I got older, I started to pay attention more. Suddenly, the things that the priest would say in his messages resonated with me. The stories that the lectors read from the bible didn’t go over my head anymore. And I started to understand why people got so worked up when they heard the choir sing their songs.

You see, my church was Catholic, but unlike most Catholic churches in the area, our masses were upbeat. If you walked into one of our masses you could almost mistake it for a Protestant service, so when I say that people in the congregation got “worked up,” what I really mean is that they would “catch the holy ghost” the same way as people in a Black Baptist church would when they listened to gospel music. I never reached that point, but, like I said, the lyrics started to make sense.

One song that I tended to hear a lot of was “Yesterday,” by Mary Mary. This duo is still pretty popular in the gospel scene today, and they definitely were big when I was growing up. That’s why their songs tended to pop up time and time again during our services. If you haven’t heard it, the song basically talks about trusting God (surprise, surprise). It talks about going through trials and tribulations. But even though you’re going through Hell, you should still be able to put your trust in God and know that He’s going to make everything better for you. Now whether you believe in God or not, there’s one lyric that remains true, regardless of your religious or non-religious background. Towards the beginning of the song, it says, “‘Cause stressing don’t make it better, Don’t make it better, no way.”

I wouldn’t consider myself to be a spiritual person in the least bit anymore, but there are definitely things that I remember from my time in the church, and this song is one of them. There’s just so much truth in it. You can stress all day, every day, but that isn’t going to help you. In fact, it only makes things worse. If you do it too much, you might even end up making yourself sick. I know that I’ve had problems dealing with stress before. At times it’s been so bad that it’s caused me physical pain. So not only was I trying to deal with whatever I was going through, but I also had to deal with the physical ramifications of my stressing out on top of that. And even though this was destructive, this was how I dealt with stress for a good portion of my life. However, one day a couple of years ago during one of my freak outs, this lyric just popped into my head. And when it did, it was like I was hearing it for the first time again. In that moment, I realized that I needed to stop stressing out. Whatever was supposed to happen was going to happen, and stressing out about it wasn’t going to make anything better.

Positive thinker, don’t stress. Yes, you will experience difficulties because life is tough, but stressing out about those problems isn’t going to help you to overcome them. Live your best life, and take whatever comes your way in stride. Trust me. You’ll feel better when you do!