Do We Make The Load Heavier?
Sometimes life can throw it all at us at once and we feel like we are drowning but something I have learned over the past years is that we can make the load heavier by holding on to things and worrying over things that we have no control over.
It is hard to admit that we can not control everything in our lives. I can not control what my adult children do. I have seen friends have a fit because they want to control what their family members or grown children do and the truth is….we have no control over that. But, what happens is, there are times that we pull things back into our laps and worry and fret even though there is no answer and we have no control. And we will work ourselves to death trying to control what we can not control.
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And I can already hear some people saying “but….but…” and the truth is there are no “buts”. We only h ave control over ourselves and when we try to make people be what and who we want, we only end up frustrating ourselves.
I remember Buzz, a friend of mine that died of cancer some years back. She was always trying to help those with problems and one day, she said to me that this particular friend did really well as long as she was around. They stayed away from the wrong crowd, did not drink too much or do drugs but if she was not right there, they slipped into old ways. I sat there a minute thinking..hmmm, do I say the obvious or do I let her go on pulling her hair out and spending wasted time trying to keep this person in line? Well, maybe the better part of reason got a hold of me but I looked at her and said “if you have to be there every minute of every day to make them stay out of trouble, they are not truly changed. They are only putting on an act when you are there”.
Did it help to tell her that? No. Want to know why? People only hear what they want to hear, too. And she wanted to believe that she had changed this person and she did not want to believe that they were taking her for a ride. I was fortunate in that by this time in my life, I had learned that I had to let go of things and letting go of things that I had no control over was part of that.
I had no control over Buzz and her letting these people use her and deceive her. But, what I did have control over was listening to it day in and day out. If she wanted to continue to let them manipulate her, that was her business but it was mine if I was going to continue or not listening to her rant and fuss about it all the time. And my decision was no, I was not.
We can lighten our load in many ways. But the biggest way is by accepting that there are just some things we can not control or change. If we are not sleeping because we can not stand it because someone is doing something we do not like and we can not stop it, or our grown children will not listen to us, or that we do not like something that is happening that we have no control over…then it is time to take stock and ask ourselves why we are on this merry-go-round. And we have to realize that only we can get ourselves off the merry-go-round.
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I think my health made me come to this point a lot earlier than most people. I realized that I had to stop this fretting over things I had no control over. There are things in the world I can not change. I can only change things in my corner of the world and if I worry about all the other things going on…crime, etc..then I worry and fret in an endless cycle over something I have no control.
I am a believer in prayer and I am also one that would pray and ask the Lord to take this or that problem and solve it. But, when that problem did not get solved as quick as or like I wanted, I would take it back, snap the whip and go YEEEE HAAAAAW and off I went determined to fix it myself and then when I wrecked the cart, I would come back and hand it back to the Creator and say “would you fix this”..again.
And so the prayer below became very important to me. I am sure many of you know this prayer but the things that really sticks out to me are the words “acceptance”, “courage” and “wisdom”. It is so hard for us to accept that we are powerless to change some things. Human nature is to want to control. And it takes courage…courage to step up and change what you can. Sometimes it is easier to be passive and not rock the boat. And then it takes wisdom…it takes the smarts to recognize the things we have no control over and let them go.
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One of the hardest tests for me was when my other son and family moved five states away when my grand baby was about three. I was devastated and I had to learn to accept that I had no control over that. It was either that or spend night after night, hour after hour carrying this horrible burden around and taking precious time being happy away from me. I learned to recognize what I could change and what I could not…..and I am still learning.
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