Trusting God is difficult. His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are not my thoughts, His understanding is much bigger than mine. I struggle with trusting God because I want Him to do my bidding and yet I know that’s unreasonable.

Trusting OTHERS to God is almost impossible! I repeatedly find I am spending most of my time worrying about other people and wishing I could control their choices and actions. As a parent, I often feel like Marlin, Nemo’s dad in Finding Nemo.

Marlin:
I promised I’d never let anything happen to him.
Dory:
Hmm. That’s a funny thing to promise.
Marlin:
What?
Dory:
Well you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.

As an adult, I know I have learned more truth from my mistakes and from painful experiences than from the good times, but as a parent, I want to protect my kids from pain and their own poor choices, which also unfortunately keeps them from growing and learning. Therefore, I must guide them as best as I can and entrust them to God. This is also true with other people I love who seem to be hellbent on making their own lives hell. My judgement and chastisement doesn’t do anything but chase them away from me. No one wants to be berated and lectured, INCLUDING ME!

Now, why do I tend to focus so much on trying to control others? Maybe it’s because I’m avoiding my own mess inside my heart and soul.  It’s so easy to point out the splinters in someone else’s eye instead of taking care of the plank in mine.

Let’s make a pact as fellow controlaholics. Next time either one of us starts worrying about someone else’s behavior let’s stop in our tracks and ask ourselves, “What part of my own life is out of control and how can I begin to fix it?”

One of the first lessons in therapy is memorizing the Serenity Prayer which is the featured image of this post. We then must identify the things we can change…ourselves and our present choices, and the things we cannot change…others and our past. I have to daily remind myself of these truths. I can only control my own actions and reactions, my own thoughts and choices. What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours. We must own our own baggage, nothing more nothing less. I have found that my baggage is considerably lighter when I unload the extra junk I tried to clean up for others around me, and I finally have the time and energy to unpack my own load and discard what no longer benefits me.

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