published Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Mohney: Feeling like you’ve run out of cope?

By Nell Mohney

Have you ever had the Monday morning blahs seven days a week? Have you ever felt frustrated, fragmented, overwhelmed? Have you ever felt that your spiritual batteries needed recharging?

If so, welcome to the 21st century. Several years ago, Time magazine carried the story of a New York public relations executive who left a high-powered job with a six-figure salary to move to the country with a lesser position and a meager salary. When asked why, he said, “I’ve coped and coped until I’ve run out of cope.”

Perhaps one of the top priorities for effective living and making a difference for good in the world is learning to handle stress creatively. In his book, “Is There Life After Stress?” James Moore reminds the reader that no one is immune to stress. He says that the question is not whether trouble, disappointment or stress will come. It will. The question is, how will we handle it?

Recently, I re-read an article about a British physician who, during the bombing of England in the World War II, often told his frightened and exhausted patients to “take an aspirin, drink a glass of warm milk, read the 23rd Psalm and go to bed.” I’m convinced that reading the 23rd Psalm during a stressful period not only calms but also empowers us. The psalmist doesn’t say, “I will meet no evil,” but “I will fear no evil.” It calms our spirits to know that we are not alone, that God is with us and will walk with us through the valleys of pain, suffering, stress, even death.

In the book, Moore suggests that many of our troubles are little more than “faceless fears.” How many times have we worried about things that never happened? He concludes, “Few people work themselves into a nervous breakdown but many worry themselves into one.” It was Shakespeare who seemed to understand our tendency to self-destruct. He wrote, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Contact Nell Mohney at nellwmohney@comcast.net.

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