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There are times where we are all stressed and take many loads on at once. Sometimes, the stories and perspectives of others can help us in dealing with our own stress and setting boundaries for ourselves.
This is a story of my dear friend Leigh who had visited her doctor as a way to confirm that the chest pains she was having were simply stress related. Being the caution type, her doctor recommended an overnight stay in the hospital until all the appropriate tests came back the way they needed them to—to confirm that she did not have any heart issues. It was wonderful news. It also meant that Leigh needed to take a look at her own stress.
Knowing that her heart was OK, Leigh had to figure out the underlying issue of her stress—she seemed to be constantly worrying or stressed about something. Her stress was habitual. She thought that if she wasn’t worrying about something, she was being irresponsible.
For Leigh, she thought it was best to give herself a routine that included things like more exercise, medication and healthy boundaries around work hours. She wondered how consistent she would be with her new routine and wondered if she would be successful in carrying these things out for more than a few days.
And then she was given a gift.
One her way to a meeting, as she waited at a stop light, she looked up and spotted an eagle circling low in the sky. And she thought of eagles in general—how they see great distances such as the lakes, rivers and fields that are far away—and have a wider, broader perspective of the world than other creatures. Seeing this eagle reminded Leigh there was much more of her life yet unseen. She wondered, could it be her limited perspective that was the cause of her stress?
Leigh took a deep breath and exhaled, sending out a silent “thank you” for the gift of this majestic bird. Sometimes, all we need is a sign—a gift of perspective—to get us through the day and realize that in the end, it will all be OK.