We spend a lot of time worrying or thinking about a situation or a person that we have absolutely no control over.
Trying and wanting to control situations and people that we cannot control simply brings us misery and suffering. But often what we do, is we try harder, we push with more force, we become more angry and frustrated, and the only thing that can really happen, is that our suffering increases. (And this often causes people around us to suffer)
We have lost the reasonable perspective. Our perception is out of line. When we are trying to control what we cannot control, we think that we are more important than we are, and we have lost our rightful place in a situation.
Personally, I have found that defiance is a big part of my make-up.
And defiance can take on many faces. But no matter how it is showing itself, it is always about me wanting things to be the way I want them to be.
If everything has to be just the way I want it in order for me to be happy, then I am in big trouble.
The really tricky part is that we always want good, or what we perceive as “the good.” We want out friend’s cancer to go away, we want our boss to do things the way we think he/she should, we want our child to get into the right class or the right school, we want our friend or loved one to stop drinking so much, and I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t want to make more money.
There is usually nothing unreasonable about what we want. Except for the fact that it is beyond our control.
To rid ourselves of suffering, we must first identify where we are out of line. (Not where someone else is out of line)
What is causing me the greatest suffering right now? Can I honestly control this situation or person? Am I spending mental and physical energy trying to do something that I cannot do?
And now it is time to be quiet. Don’t say it. Don’t do it. Leave it alone. Decide that you are going to allow the situation or the person to be what it is.
For those of us who believe in God, it is time for us to, “Give it to God.” And then leave it alone.
I personally also have to consider that while spending so much time looking at situations or a person who I am unhappy with, I am not looking at my own self. Perhaps I am using you to help me avoid looking at myself?
To ask yourself: “Is there really anything that I can do to change this person or this situation?”
Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
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