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#153: When Feeling Overwhelmed

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Many years ago I read that when Benjamin Franklin needed to make an important decision that he would draw a line down the middle of a page of paper. On one side of the paper he would list all of the reasons in favor of the decision, without giving any weight to any entry. On the other side he would list all of the reasons against the decision, again without giving weight to any entry.

Then he would tally up the entries and whichever one had the most, would be the way he would decide. Pretty simple and pretty effective, wouldn't you agree?

* * * * *

Tonight I received an email from a dear friend. I had asked how she handles things when she feels overwhelmed. Her solution was akin to Franklin's.

"First I get a sheet of paper and a pen. Then I pray over the paper asking God to open up my eyes and help me figure out what is making me feel so unhappy and overwhelmed and what I can and can't do about it. After that I draw a emoticon at the top of the paper. This is something I invented myself and it helps me to get focused.

"Draw a line down the center of the paper from top to bottom. On the left hand side list everything that makes you feel like that sad face. It might be only two or three things; other times you might list a dozen or more such as 'No car, low fixed income, health problems, weight, relationship problems, etc.'

"Then, starting with number one, draw a line to the right side of the paper where you are going to brain storm ideas of what you can do to change the sad face into a emoticon.

"List as many ideas as you can come up with. What steps can you start taking now? Make a plan to attack each of those problems on your list. Are there things you can't do anything about? Then give it to God and trust He wants the best for you.

"This exercise helps me to feel more in charge and less helpless, helps me to focus, to come up with some plans and not feel so overwhelmed. Often you will find you start feeling more in charge and you will be able to smile your way through your problems as you work to make your life better.

"It is your life and it is up to you to manage it and what you can't change don't worry about. What you can do something about ask God for wisdom in how to tackle the problem."

For those who do not believe in a supreme being, ask the essence of the universe to show you the way out of your problems and believe that the answers will be provided to you in time.

* * * * *

Perhaps these two methods can help you resolve your decisions and overcome your worries.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • YATMAMA
    We are so often led to believe our situation is hopeless, unchangeable, a death sentence that we must live through indefinitely. We do, however, live through those situations. Over and over and over. You'd think we'd learn that there IS an avenue of escape, that we CAN endure, that help IS on the way. Thank you for sharing these ideas t break life's issues down into manageable, bite-sized portions (much like the healthier food we're eating now!).

    *hugs*

    Missy


    P.S. My supreme Being IS the essence of the universe because He lovingly designed and created it! Something within me rises up and roars when I see Jesus Christ referred to so anonymously. There is power in His NAME! (No offense intended to anyone who may disagree.)
    4110 days ago
  • SPARKLOVE
    Hope things start looking up for you soon. emoticon Joy
    4110 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    That advice sure sounds do-able. Will give it a try if I'm ever feeling way too blue!


    4110 days ago
  • MARYSUPPORTS
    Thanks.
    4110 days ago
  • DEVONNEJOY
    Wow, what a fantastic message Lou! So often it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the areas we are disappointed with, or want to change, just taking it one step at a time, and focusing on the positives and simple ways to change our situations and move towards healing, and allowing the Lord to help move through us as we make better choices. Thank you!
    4110 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    As always, good blog, Lou. Thanks for posting it!
    Gaye
    4110 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5123585
    I like your blog. I will try your ideas the next time I need some guidance in my life. I wish you much success with the rest of your weight loss journey. Good luck! Kim
    4110 days ago
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