Surrendering control is not the easiest thing to do…
I’m learning to recognize that life is a struggle and will always be a struggle. Once you let go of the misconception of “once this event is past everything will be better” it really is a lot easier to feel at ease with the way life is going.
Life is a river. Some parts of the river are easy going and flow slowly. Some parts of it has rapids that are fast and turbulent. Sometimes the river turns and bends and you don’t know what’s coming next. Sometimes the river is straight and you can see clearly for miles. At any point, even if it’s a straight slow flowing point in the river can you hit a rock and be overthrown by what you can’t see beneath the water… life will always throw us surprises, we are never “safe”.
There is a saying that “a bird does not worry that the branch beneath it may break because it has trust in it’s own wings” and I like to think our wings are God. We need not worry about the troubles and turmoil life hands us because our God is more powerful than anything that may come our way.
I have no control in my life other than my own reaction. I have a tendency to take on other people’s problems and try to solve them. I’m learning from “joint custody with a jerk” by Julie A. Ross M.A. and Judy Corcoran to identify a problem and separate it from my feelings about that problem. Then, identify who’s job it is to come up with a solution by asking a series of questions.
(Side note: the previously mentioned book is in no way calling anyone names. This book is for any and all parents who share custody. We all have a jerk side to us and it is about taking responsibility of our own reaction even if the other person is in fact being a jerk, identifying problems we our selves can solve, those we can not because they are not our problems to solve and recognizing that all we can do is adjust our attitudes towards problems that are not our own)
I’m not all the way through the book yet but it has already helped me let go of things I can not control, learn what’s important to me and how to pick my battles based on identified priorities.
If you look at the things that bother you, often what’s bothering you is NOT actually the problem, it’s your FEELINGS toward what you perceive as the problem. I am finding that I struggle with jealousy (spoiler alert: this is the most frequently identified feeling people fail to recognize according to Ross & Corcoran) and feelings of abandonment/rejection. These feelings may not be triggered by what is going on in that moment but actually what has happened to me in my childhood and without recognizing that I am acting on childhood emotions I react from a subconscious thought instead of meaningful thoughts.
The book teaches that the process of events flow like this: event – thought – emotions/feelings based off that thought – reaction – second event….
It further explains that without being aware of your thoughts and changing the impulsive negative thoughts to positive ones, the reaction and subsequent second event will be negative as well starting a never ending negative cycle until we learn to change the process.
Essentially it teaches us how to identify negative thoughts and change them to positive ones so that our reactions and ultimate second events are positive as well…
We may not be able to control everything but we can start controlling our reactions and by doing that we start a positive pattern that may in turn change how others who are used to a negative response may start to change their reaction as well.
Warning to the wise: when you begin to change, others might challenge your sincerity or genuine intention behind it. That’s okay! You keep doing you and keep your chin up. It does not matter what you have done in your past. If you are an adult, it is not anyone’s role or responsibility to hold you accountable or to punish you for your past transgressions. The only earthly people who can pass judgement are a judge and jury, that is in. That also means it is not our job to punish those who have sinned against us either and for me that makes it a whole lot easier to let go of control and just simply Let God!!
I’ve never claimed to be perfect. Im a work in progress and I will have days that these lessons may not take hold but a seed has been planted and I am trying every single day to do and be better than the day before!!
Warrior- Hannah Curr The entire song is an inspiration!
You Say- Laura Diagle You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
Strong Enough – Mathew West I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be