Dear Stress,

Let me start by saying how grateful I am for the time we’ve spent together. And that this is not about you, but about me. You’ve been there to pick me up more often than I can remember. So many mornings when I wanted to stay in bed to rest, you reminded me that I didn’t have a moment to waste. “Live life to the fullest.” “You only live once.” “You can rest when you’re in the ground.” The jolt of energy I needed to get out there and make my mark on the world. To reach for the stars. To strive to be more, and do more, and have more.

And yet, I see now how my path is taking me in a different direction. One that requires me to let go of my dependence on your driving force. While the chronic anxiety and endless striving for perfection feels comforting and familiar, it has become clear to me that the fear of life without you cripples my ability to truly become my best self. Logically I know that if I let you go my natural wisdom will take over to guide progress well beyond my stress-filled perspective can see. I’ve read the decades of research demonstrating that although we feel more energized temporarily, stress as fuel only adds to the deterioration process, breaking down our bodies and minds at a faster speed and hijacking our ability to be truly extraordinary. But stepping into the abyss of bliss feels disconnected, and I fear I’ll become nothing at all.

Then suddenly I remember. We don’t have to say good-bye at all. I’m not leaving you behind, I’m inviting you on a new journey with me. A better path and a smoother ride that takes us where we want to go without resistance. Accepting that we can co-exist and lift each other up by redefining what it means to face life together. Perhaps by seeing each other for who we really are — me, a work in progress and you, a bright light shining into the broken parts to show me where healing must take place — perhaps then we can evolve and adapt to become our best selves. 

To do this, we must create a new relationship. Let’s appreciate the past and what brought us this far, and then let’s consider how to work together in harmony to reach our most important goals of health, happiness, and love. Moving forward, I choose to see you as an adventure, an opportunity, and an experiment in this extraordinary gift called life. All I ask of you is that you allow me to make mistakes, continue to be a work in progress, and hit the snooze button from time to time. 


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