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Urgent! Read Now! Don't Wait! Time is Running Out!

I got home from a long day the other day. When I arrived, I walked the dog and checked the mail. In the mailbox was a large white envelope from my bank that had large red letters stamped on the outside that read:

IMPORTANT! OPEN IMMEDIATELY!  
Instantly my heart started to race and I felt a knot in my stomach. My sense of hesitation and fear overwhelmed me. I held my breath and tore open the envelope to get it over with and found an advertisement stating that the bank has a new service they are offering to customers. After I shook my head for a moment, I thought, a new service? Really? After I breathed a sigh of relief, I got to thinking. In my world, a new bank service does not constitute an urgent message in red bold letters. It made me realize that our culture has become grounded in a state of anxious, stressful, crises. Everything is urgent, everything is a crisis. Buy Now! This special expires in 2 minutes!  Call today while supplies last!  The messages we get inundated with are calls to react quickly without pause.
 
As human beings we were not created to live in a state of fear, angst and trepidation.  We do, however have an automatic response in our bodies that protects us from danger and harms way.  If we feel threatened by a gun, a speeding car or a raging dog, our bodies release adrenaline to help us get out of danger. It's a physical response meant to keep us safe. Once the danger is gone, our bodies are supposed to resume a calm state. But in our culture we are constantly invited, lured, hooked into and demanded to stay slightly upset, nervous, and tense.  
 
It's no wonder that after a full day of stress-causing messages, we come home wanting to escape with a cocktail, shopping, food, prescription drugs or whatever else helps us forget the feelings that we have keeping us uptight. The problem with escape routes, however, is that these can very easily become addictions which are another cause for stress reactions. I think of a pinball machine; the ball is whacked around from pin to pin. I have felt like that ball on many occasions.

Tomorrow when you wake up and start your day, take notice of your body. Make a plan to intentionally stay in a state of peace and contentment. Things will happen no doubt that will try your patience and possibly stress you out, but you can also choose how you respond to these situations.  We can't change our culture or the world in a day, BUT what we CAN do is take a moment to stop, breathe and make a choice on how to respond rather that react. Don't let yourself be enticed into being upset or nervous; for that only causes harm!

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