Do We Make Our 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. We can become obsessive over the negatives in our lives and make every minute of our lives about those negative things or we can look for the good things still in our lives. I have a lot hitting me right now health wise. I could spend every minute focusing on that but know what I did today instead? I bought baby clothes for a sweet friend of mine expecting their first baby and the joy I felt picking out those little outfits lifted my heart and lightened my “load” from the medical.
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 that 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 have 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 stayed right with them. 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.should 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. Do you 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 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. My health is a great example. I have some health issues over which I have no control because there is nothing that can be done to help the situation. Right now my spine has been and is in a very critical condition. I have a choice IF doctors are willing to operate and that is to decide to be operated on or not. If doctors do not want to do surgery due to my other health issues, then I have no choice left.
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. It takes 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 wisdom to recognize the things we have no control over and let them go.
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Life is short and we each only have a certain number of days, hours and minutes. Every minute we waste on the negative and on worrying about what we can not change, we have lost and can never get back. So, I choose to lighten my load by focusing on the positive, on the love around me and the joys. Does that mean I do nothing to help myself? Of course it does not. It means I do what I can do to help myself and the rest I leave to the Creator and I enjoy what I can do.
I also have learned what to spend my time on. I have been in bad health for a long time. I accept that. Does that mean I give up? No, it does not. But it also does not mean that I am spending every minute of every day on talking about sickness and researching. I want to have some life which has joy in it and so I limit my time on the “sickness” part and I try to do the best I can do by having a good, natural diet, exercise, taking the right supplements and medicines and resting. And I also allow myself to see the joy I still have in my life which is my precious sons and grand baby and my sweet Daisy and loved ones. If all I do is talk about sickness every waking minutes of every day, after a while those precious ones will get tired of hearing it. And besides that I want to talk about things that are joyful like events around here, holidays coming up, family events, writing, reading, listening to music when I can. Before we can deal with our physical health we must first have good mental health and that means focusing on what helps us and not on the negative in life. And that is how I lighten my load and try to keep joy in my life. It is all a choice.
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