When the weather gets bad, most of us have an umbrella. Usually it resides in the porch, on the back seat of the car or hanging up in the utility room with the rest of the damp clothing.
We use our umbrella’s when the weather gets bad. Heavy rain or snow. Such a simple idea yet such a complicated design. We instinctively put up our brollies when the heavens open above us to keep us dry.
But not all of us do that. Some of us walk around all day, with our umbrella’s open, held over head all day, every day. In the expectation that bad weather is about to fall.
That modern day umbrella is most probably very light. But your carrying it everyday. Its gonna get heavy at some point. So what is my point?
The very thing that is designed to keep you dry, can if you let it, weigh you down to sink.
I do of course refer to worry and stress. I have covered these topics previously but every now and again you get a blinding analogy that makes you want to share your thoughts.
The analogy tonight is the Umbrella. A device designed to keep you dry. But what if that device is trapping the weather, constantly keeping you wet and cold when outside their are blue skies?
You see, some of us place burdens upon ourselves when in reality where is no need to do so. Those moments peak when we change roles, go for promotion or placing ourselves outside our comfort zones. I have been very vocal in the wellbeing of police officers to my senior management team and they have in turn been very receptive. My constant gripe is to see more white shirts on the front line ever so occasionally. A member of the SMT replied informing me that a few members of their team were equally feeling the stress to the point of failure.
Stress is not rank specific. To be honest that was something I had not thought about before. And so, turning back to the thrust of this post, I thought about the two types of stress. That which we have to deal with and that which we place upon ourselves.
The day to day stress that comes with the job I suspect is fairly easy to deal with. The stress we put ourselves under is inevitably impossible to deal with. Because we ourselves become our own judges on our own performances and as you know, we will never satisfy ourselves.
Whatever rank you are, you are first and foremost a human being. A humble foot soldier has every bit of authority and responsibility as the chief constable at a scene.
The ability to stop worrying is never from reading wise words but from the years and years of wondering what might be, only to discover that as you get older that those worries never came to fruition. What a release it would be to trust those older folk who told you not to worry in your younger years.
So what ever rank you are, put your umbrella down, stop worrying about what you cannot control, stop worrying about your future. It will work itself out. When you close that umbrella you just might find a blue sky above. Unless you do, you will never see whats over your head.