Calgon, take me away!
Do you remember the old commercial from the 1970’s, “Calgon, take me away”? It depicted an exhausted woman who cleaned all day, took care of the grocery shopping, cared for the children, made dinner, and, finally, cleaned up the mess. After her long day, she would get into a bubble bath with Calgon bubbles and say, “Calgon, take me away!” as if the bubble bath was going to relieve all her stress permanently.
Often in my past, I would say, “Calgon, take me away!” Especially when I felt I was in over my head, which was most of the time.
Since this commercial aired, there have been numerous types of stress relieving bubble bath products, body soaps, body washes, and body lotions to arrive on the market. In fact, my Body Wash specifically says “Stress Relief” right on it. If only that were the absolute way to relieve one’s stress!
So, if the application of body washes, body lotions, or the use of candles and aromatherapy aren’t permanent, what can you do to relieve stress completely?
The World’s Stress Relief
Once the body lotion is gone, or the candle has burned to the end, or the fidget spinner breaks, you need more and more of the product to help you relieve your stress. (And if you’re honest, those things don’t work anyway.)
The world tells you there are many ways to release tension: eat right, meditate, practice yoga, deep breathing exercises, physical exercise, drinking on the weekends, karaoke bars, spending money, fast cars, and even taking several vacations throughout the year. There is much more I’m sure you could help me add to the list. Although I would highly recommend vacation time, eating right, and exercising, these are only temporary fixes. Once you finish your holiday, it’s back to the grind of work. If you give up physical exercise or forget to do your deep breathing exercises, the stress of your world comes knocking on the door again – and usually invites itself right back into your life.
Stress is unavoidable. I’m not trying to say that you won’t have any stress, ever, but you can permanently be drama-free by clinging to the only One who can give you that peace.
Drama, Drama, Drama
I know you’re tired of all the drama in your life. If you look closely, you’ll probably notice that some root causes were choices you made. However, other people can try to draw you into their struggles too. Unfortunately for you, usually it works. Trying to carry your problems around, and the drama of others, day-in-and-day-out is exhausting!
I remember the exhaustion I felt when my friends would call and “vomit” their problems on to me over the phone. They would draw me into whatever marriage difficulties they were having and expected me to side with them over the dumb things their husband was doing to them. Or it was the children. Or it was the mother-in-law. Blah-Blah-Blah. Unfortunately, I would follow them into the drama. And it wasn’t even my drama! I had enough of my issues to handle without trying to fix them. But I did it anyway.
I’m sure you’re nodding your head thinking, “Yep, Debbie Mama, I know what you’re saying!”
Well, I’ve found a better way.
3 Ways to Receive Permanent Stress Relief
Realize You’re Not Responsible for Everything
Recently someone told me about my attitude of being responsible for everything. My mouth dropped open! What? Who? Me? I just shook my head, but it got me thinking. Now that I am aware of this profound understanding I can see that I was acting as if I was responsible for everything.
I hate to break it to you, but you’ve got the same attitude. That’s one of the main reasons you are so stressed out. You have the need control all those areas in your life where you feel no one else is taking control. I know! I felt the same way. (Notice I said “felt”)
The truth of the matter is, only God is in control. Only He has the power to move the mountains and part the waters of problems in your life and the lives around you. He is also in control of others who are trying to draw you into the deep end. So, I’m going to let you in on a big secret.
You don’t have to be drawn into the drama that surrounds you every day. The washing machine needs fixing. Your friend is going through a painful divorce. The boss expects you to stay and work on his emergency project. Your new boyfriend has a money problem. On and on goes the problems of everyone’s world and it all rests on your shoulders to fix.
No, it doesn’t.
I’ve got another secret. The world won’t fall apart if you stop being responsible for everything. I’ve tested it, and I’ve found that to be a truth I can breathe into your life today.
Get Out of the Straight-Backed Chair and Into the Recliner
I’ve attended several different churches throughout my life whose doctrines were not the same, so I felt confused about the right way to live my Christian life. However, they all agreed that I had to follow the rules. I don’t necessarily mean the Law of Moses from the Old Testament, but, you know, THE RULES. Those often-undisclosed rules about how a Christian should live their life, not the ones written about in God’s Word.
It was tough. I always failed. I found myself on fire for God one day, then quitting and running in the opposite direction from God the next after hearing a particularly difficult sermon. It drove me crazy. All my life I felt like I was sitting in a hard wooden straight-backed chair forced to sit there and act right. Well, I couldn’t sit there for any real length of time. That’s why I got out and ran away from God. It was too hard.
Then one day I learned about access I had to the Holy Spirit – I call him my recliner. Through his power, I could relax in the recliner with my feet up always waiting for him to lead me in all things. All things! No more straight-backed chair. He held me comfortably and allowed me to rest in his grace and power. It didn’t mean I could ignore what the Bible taught, but it indicated the Holy Spirit would teach and lead me instead of me trying to do the work on my own.
You can have this experience. You can have the joy of the recliner vs. the pain of the straight-backed chair. But there’s a catch. You must make a choice.
The choice is this: You can choose to be drama-free by submitting your life to the will of the Holy Spirit, OR, continue to live life your way filled with drama. For me, it was a no-brainer.
Dedicating your life to the Holy Spirit has different names depending upon which denomination you attend. Sanctification, perfect love, Christian perfection, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Christian holiness, and fullness of the blessing, to name a few. You can find Bible verses to support this process listed in my Resources Page. To keep it simple, I’m going to call the process sanctification.
I can see you’re getting a little freaked out and maybe you’ve never even heard of sanctification before. I know, I know, I was excited about it but very nervous too. It took me a solid week of seeking and understanding what it was before I even began to just hand my life over to God like that.
The Nazarene denomination has written “Articles of Faith” which include a wonderful description of what I’m talking about here. Here is a summary of what it says:
[Sanctification] is wrought by the…infilling of the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service.
That is the simple explanation, but you can see that it is a two-fold process with one outcome. The two-fold process is 1. Your willingness to surrender your life to the power of the Holy Spirit, and 2. The Holy Spirit’s desire to heal your sinful nature while indwelling you with his presence.
He’s willing. Are you?
To permanently become drama free, you need direction from one who knows you best. You need the Holy Spirit to come and sanctify your heart. But, you also need to recognize that you are not responsible for everything and everyone around you. It means a life out of the straight-backed chair and into the relaxing recliner of the Holy Spirit. It’s up to you to give up control and surrender.