I have learned plenty throughout this thing call life, and I ain’t done with the learning process either. I am thankful for all the curve balls that were thrown my way and ready for more to come. Not everything that happens in your life will be considered positive and exciting. Some things you won’t see coming. We will be faced with challenges and situations that will test our maturity level, mental state, and coping skills. No one should ever expect to have a 100% stress-free life. When these things occur, it is up to you to face the music and make decisions/choices that will be beneficial to you and/or your family in the long run. The longer you run away from challenges in your life; the worse it gets. That’s when it’s important to learn how to cope with what is thrown at you.
We damn sure should always expect changes in our life. How you cope with change relies upon your maturity level. As you get older, you will realize some things doesn’t work for you anymore. You will have to begin thinking about your future, career, finances, family, and anything else that arises as you age. You can no longer run from what was already written in your book of life. Let’s take me for an example. I did just about everything for my daughter. When I think about it, I never made her cook, allowed her to hang out with friends, or let alone make mistakes as a child would. Guess what? Because I sheltered her most of her life, she is now facing the hard reality of becoming self-sufficient at age 24!!!! Yes, I never allowed her to deal with the harsh realities of life. I didn’t allow her to make mistakes or fail until she became a young adult. I did everything for her, so what did I expect!! Now she is just beginning to find herself and trying to figure things out at a later age. Because I was too afraid to allow her to be who she wanted to be, I screwed up her maturity level when it dealt with her life. She can’t handle certain things because she can’t deal with change or the fear of messing up. But isn’t that what life is about?
I have seen too many adults that are between their 20s-50’s (yes fifty!!!) that were sheltered and are unable to make wise decisions when necessary because of the mistakes their parents’ made. They would avoid the inevitable until it hits them in the face. They never once figured out that they will one day have to be self-sufficient and accountable for their decision of not facing life head-on. They would rather live in a “child-like” world with less responsibility than seeing it for what it really is.
Think about the grown-ups you see on the Dr. Phil show who still have their parents paying their bills, giving them materialistic things, getting them apartments, doing their homework, cooking for them, and/or allowing them to live in their home until they are damn near a senior citizen!!! Those parents have enabled their child from learning how to actually pay bills, read and/or write, write checks, become financially literate and stable, maintain an automobile, take care of life experiences in a mature manner, and/or just being a productive person in this thing call life. Many dependent adults find themselves unable to cope with the changes that occur when they are suddenly thrown out into the world of reality. They are unable to use their critical-thinking skills or common sense. The sense of entitlement kicks in, and they continue to feel that others should pick up the slack so they don’t have to cope with change. But, isn’t this what life is about? Didn’t we all have to face things head on and deal with it eventually?
I learned to back away from things and situations that will bring me unnecessary stress. When I feel that it is taking away from my peace and rest; I back off. I already know I will have personal stresses along the way, but I ain’t trying to take on someone else’s too. When others try to put their life stresses on you and are not prepared or even willing to listen to advice, then you need to back away and let them learn on their own. I never understood why someone would ask me for financial assistance and then continue to spend recklessly. I just learned to never lend out any more money. You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make the horse drink it. That goes for adults as well. You can give as much sound advice or help, but if they aren’t willing to help themselves or deal with the hard work and dedication it takes to overcome any situation, let it go. That’s the life lesson they will have to travel alone.
If you realize you are on the verge of breaking down, it’s time to seek professional help. Denial and avoidance are the number one causes of stress and anxiety. It does nothing but makes things worse. The more you try to avoid life stresses; the more it persists. According to Elizabeth Scott’s article in Verywell mind (2019), there are many ways in which avoidance behaviors magnify stress:
They don’t actually solve the problem that causes stress, so they are less effective than more proactive strategies that may minimize stress in the future.
Avoidance may allow problems to grow.
Avoidance may also be frustrating to others, so habitually using avoidance strategies may create conflict in relationships and minimize social support.
Avoidance approaches can create more anxiety much of the time.
We all will have obstacles along the way. No one will be immune to stressors. It is all about how you deal and learn from what life throws at you.