Got this from a friend on facebook. ;D
Stress = worrying, spending energy and thought on something for which you can do nothing about. Do what you can do and be at peace.
I know that I am not alone in this matter. It is said that the last great hurdle to enlightenment is detachment. Taking nothing personal, not having any "self" invested in the world. It sounds boring, yet at the same time, that too could be a self defense mechanism of the ego. I imagine if you could participate and fully enjoy, appreciating without any stake in the outcome the same as accepting blessings without the need to keep something going beyond it's time or trying to create permanence out of the temporary. Acknowledging what has been added to your joy and experiences without seeing it's passing as sad, bad or anything but "as it should be".
Ok, sounds great! Except, I will be the first one to admit that I am not anywhere near there yet. It doesn't mean that I cannot see it as a possibility, just that my personal evolution does not yet reach that far. Right now I am reading (along with many other books at any given time, of course) Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. It's a novel he wrote that very closely, not exactly, follows the life of Prince Siddhartha, the man we now call Buddha. I admire that one can seek as Buddha did, yet I seem to fall short of such lofty reaches. I have read many works on the subject of Enlightenment and would in many ways consider myself a seeker. I also understand that I am a husband, father, brother, neighbor and friend. I am a professional with a career. All of these things, titles, roles, if you will, are part of who I am. The responsibilities that I have taken on during my life up to this point.
Some of these roles are ones that "If I knew then..... what I know now" types of situations. However, that does not excuse me from the responsibilities I have accepted. There have been many different motivational speakers and I cannot remember which one that said it, here goes in my own words. You must decide in your life which relationships are good for you and assist you in living your life on purpose and those that do not. For those that do not, you must look at them and decide if it is worth the consequences of keeping that relationship (IE; a friend who's influence only creates negative action, thoughts or influence.) and if not create and execute an exit strategy for that relationship. So that you may use your energies and focus on that which adds to a life on purpose.
Now in my romanticism (being very much a romantic by nature), I felt for years that this was unacceptable thinking. Since acquiring some experience and wisdom from said experiences, I now see the bigger picture and potential drama, heartache and such from not following this wisdom. Some relationships, cannot be "cancelled or exit-ed". I doubt I need to go into this to deeply, be wise and consider the consequence when you think about such things. I do not want critical relationships (IE; marriages, etc.) broken up over poorly thought out decisions or when the real catalyst to a better relationship lies within.
What I am saying is, we all need some perspective, some "enlightenment" at times and as for me. I am doing my best to walk The Razors Edge (a very good movie by the way, look it up. Bill Murray) of living a life that is enlightened yet, fulfilling that which makes life worth living. My marriage as an excellent example. It is the most rewarding relationship with anyone in my life. I would not want to walk away from this relationship for some esoteric feeling when I know that my marriage adds greatly to the overall quality of my life. I believe that there must be balance in all things.
Perhaps, stress really is the lack of balance. In perception, understanding or even action. Imbalance is the one thing that seems to exist in some area of my life or at the moment when I am experiencing stress. Balance is the one thing that seems to bring peace and end stress.
Although, I believe in evolving to the point of true enlightenment, I also understand that I am not willing to do it at the cost of some critical elements of my life. I hope this makes sense for those of you reading this. Balance for me is being able to have a big picture view of the world around me, keeping in perspective all humans, relationships, attitudes, actions and otherwise. Remembering the sacred natures of all men, doing what I can to see everyone without judgement, accepting what is, enjoying what is without demands or expecting something other than what is. Then, it seems as if the creator within comes into his own and has real power to influence, to create real enduring value for those around me. Only when, I give up the need to self serve or justify.
I guess that is the real trick to balance, to stepping a way from stress. Letting go of the need or desire to have what is not or not "seeing" what is already.
May you find that balance in your life that allows you to be free of stress. To have quality relationships (only a healthy inner relationship can allow healthy outer relationships) in your life. May you see beyond judgment and know real peace that wells up from within and flows outward.