We've all heard the phrase at the gym, "time under tension." A reference to the amount of time a muscle is held under tension during an exercise set. As you lengthen the time, it optimizes muscular strength, endurance, and growth. The key to this is time. Time refers to a fixed point in which you release the tension and relax the muscle, letting it rebuild.
While TUT is most commonly used in weight training, it is a phrase applicable to every part of our lives. There are many areas of our lives that create tension, for example, relationships, jobs, finances, etc. Too much time under tension, or stressors, under any of these circumstances can, and will, create imbalances in other areas of our lives and thus creating more stress. Put several of these stressors together, with a prolonged length of time, and your health and mental well-being start to deteriorate.
At this point, action is required. Unfortunately, so often society turns to unhealthy solutions which typically take the form of addictions or medications. Too much tension under any circumstance creates stress fractures and therefore injury or structural failure.
The real solutions are much harder.
The real solutions require some reflection and action. Action that may go against our worldviews and comfort zones. They may require confrontation and ultimately, life changes. Getting out of a bad relationship, changing jobs, moving, reducing expenses, selling things, etc. These solutions release the tension and provide the rest and rebuilding period needed for recovery.
My life has recently taken some restructuring. Under stressful circumstances that included job and job relationships, I've had to do some reflection and prayer. Reflection into the circumstances and my part in it. Prayer for discernment, strength, and guidance. The result of this has been some counseling, relational confrontation, financial restructuring, and job change.
For me, the decision of changing jobs came with much prayer and reflection. Who am I and what is my calling? What has my history been? What gentle prodding has the Lord given me that I have been ignoring? My timing and God's timing are rarely the same and it is having this discernment to know when to take action and when to be patient. Not an easy task.
My prayer and reflection have led me to pursue some ventures that the Lord has placed on my heart for a long time. Things that I ran from and instead settled with safety and security. This is a journey and application of practicing what I preach. I am scared, nervous, anxious, and really, really, really excited.
With my changes, I am ready to come back stronger, more focused, and with more energy than I ever have. I am ready to have passion and purpose again.
I encourage anyone who is struggling and has spent a prolonged amount of time under tension to reflect, pray, and make the necessary changes to create the rest needed for recovery. Your health and well-being need it.
~ by Sean O'Regan