The Way It Is: First, Do No Stress

By Gregg Sanderson

“Why are you losing your hair?”
“Because I worry.”
“What do you worry about?”
“Losing my hair.”

That, dear friends, is a metaphor. Of course we all don’t worry about losing our hair, but how many other things in life cause stress to make us sick?

I have a friend who stresses over his cholesterol numbers and takes a weekly count.

Another friend requires a special diet, and carries her own food with her. I love to take her to lunch. Talk about a cheap date!

But I digress.

As some authorities will tell us, stress is a major cause of poor health. Also, a big cause of stress is poor health. Many therapies and doctors attack the poor health without doing anything about the stress. “Watch your diet, take a pill, and if we have to we’ll cut you open…And leave a message with my service in the morning.”

BOB has a different diagnosis. It suggests we get rid of the stress first, then see what’s left. In BOB’s world, It defines stress as feeling anything that isn’t love—anger, fear, hurt, frustration, embarrassment, worry, guilt—you get the idea.

As we grew up, our childhood influences, whatever they were, had two things in common. We had to be right, and we had to please “others.”

I never got a reward for being wrong, and others never got graded on, “Works and plays well with Gregg.” That’s the RACE Trap, and our other instructive acronym. It stands for Righteousness and Approval Complicate Everything.

Here’s another digression for newcomers to the world of BOB (The acronym BOB stands for Being of Bliss…The creative power of Life): BS stands for Belief System, which filters BOB in the creative process, and the RACE Trap is the BS that gets in the way of our happiness and causes stress. All that yucky stuff is the result of our BS caught in the RACE Trap.

(That’s it for background. If you want more, buy my book. In fact, if even you don’t want more, buy my book anyhow. It’s the right thing to do, and I’ll be pleased.)

If your BS is in the RACE Trap, you need a metaphorical pooper scooper in the form of a Belief System that lets you learn and express rather than defend and kowtow.

The first step to getting free is to recognize when you’re in the trap. All that takes is to recognize what you’re feeling.

If you’re uncomfortable because somebody saw you, you’re in the approval section. You’re there when you feel embarrassment, humiliation, stage fright, or worry, too. You’re there even if you hesitate to wear that loud shirt you like so much, or if you get frustrated because somebody won’t do what you want them to.

Anger is a sure clue that you’re caught in the righteousness cage, and resentment is another clue when you blame somebody who has “done you wrong.” As a matter of fact, if the concept of “wrong” comes to mind, you’re caught in your need to be right.

Beneath it all is the judgment that something is not OK, and the fear that it might be you.

Wow, talk about a belief system that lives up to its abbreviation! Look, you’re already OK, and as an expression of BOB, you can’t be otherwise. The problem is you can still believe you aren’t, and that’s where the stress comes in.

“But there are some things that really are not OK and just plain wrong. What about them?”
That’s a fair question. That may be so, but you don’t have to embrace them…All you have to do is feel OK about them, practice acceptance and, from that non-stressful position, do whatever you want to do.

How do you get to that position? There are many ways. We’ll discuss some of them in next month’s column. Stay tuned.

Gregg Sanderson has a rare view of the metaphysical universe. He traveled the road from Christian Science through Judaism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Living Love, Psychic Development, Spiritualism, Teaching of the Inner Christ, all the way to the International Centers for Spiritual Living where he is a licensed practitioner. He is the author of What Ever Happened To Happily Ever After? and Split Happens – Easing the Pain of Divorce. Gregg’s latest book is Spirit With A Smile — The World According to BOB (

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