Secrets of a Parallel Universe              Stress: Are You Coping or Failing?

yourself in this fashion, you can dig yourself into such a deep hole of depression that you might see suicide as the only way to get any rest from pain.
     Very often, the resentment we feel toward others represents an attempt to escape the judgment we feel against ourselves. We "conquer" our sin by projecting it onto someone else. When you realize that resenting others is wrong, you may find it almost impossible not to resent yourself for having resented; but if you don't find the patience and humility to face up to resentment without judgment, you are in danger of becoming so much like the prideful people you resent that you, too, will become an enemy of reality.
     Resentment provides your proud ego with two alternatives: to give in to the pressure, or to become meaner than the pressure, in which case you will become one of those who revel in the failings of others. Whether you are one who fails, or one who takes pleasure in causing others to fail-you are failing, either way. You can't win for losing! You are as guilty for hurting others as you are for tempting them to hurt you. That uneasy, unhappy feeling you get when you find yourself weighing these prideful choices is your conscience, trying to get you back on the right track.
     Let's say someone pressures you to do something. The stress of the pressure causes your body to react; and as you react to the stress, you take on the imprint of the stress, causing a "message," or hypnotic suggestion, which is encoded in the stress, to become a part of your own "coping" equipment. Thereafter, stress will compel you to react and to feel, and feeling will explode into thinking. Thinking, in turn, will explode into feeling, and feeling into action in an endless cycle. You are caught up in vengeful thoughts and feelings, and your soul can't get a word in edgewise.
     Under the domination of stress, you are predictable. If you can't see the truth of that last statement insofar as it concerns yourself, just remember the last time you kept putting off facing an authority figure with some bit of bad news, because you knew

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