Why Do We Wait Until We are Broken?

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I was having a conversation with someone yesterday that really got me to thinking.  We seem to wait until our bodies or emotions are sick before we do anything about it.  We ignore the clear warning signs showing us that we are standing on the railroad track and the train is heading our way.

 In my own life, I ignored and “brushed aside” stress for many years.  I didn’t realize the consequences of ignoring my body and mind until I wound up on the couch in a fetal position for two weeks. It hurt to eat, to move, and I could actually hear screaming in my head.  My doctor could not find anything wrong with my body.   My then 5-year-old daughter actually asked me, “Mommy are you dying?”   I reassured her, but I felt as if I were at the bottom of a black hole with no way to the top.  I was in full-blown depression.  This was one of the most pivotal points in my life.  It started me on a 20-year journey to learn to use compassion to nurture myself as well as others.  And I began to find healthier ways to handle stress. But if only I had not waited until I was broken!  I missed several years when I might have had a fuller, richer life. I would have been a more compassionate parent, a better friend, and I would have lived with much more joy.

We laughingly talk about our first world problems and brush them off as not serious compared to what people face in developing countries.  But all problems can cause suffering and affect not only ourselves but those around us.  You can see the extreme of first world problems by looking at the death rate in Japan that is due to overwork and stress – 10,000 people per year – this affects not only their loved ones but the whole nation. 

Let’s not wait until we are broken.   It’s time for us to wake up and listen to our hearts and minds when they whisper to us that things are not right inside.  That is the first step to freedom.

Wishing you love and peace this weekend.


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