“I decided very early on, just accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I’d ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it.” ~ Audrey Hepburn
Control – do we really have it? Somewhat, but I am learning that which I would have loved to learn earlier in life – allowing. Some things we have control over like our attitude, our choice to be happy, our choice to have healthy boundaries, our choice to take care of our bodies, etc. Other things are really out of our jurisdiction so to speak. For instance the perfectly healthy, health conscious young mother who gets a diagnosis of a rare form of cancer; the cyclist who was hit by a car; the hard-working person who gets laid off from work; the mother who has a child diagnosed with autism but she did everything right during her pregnancy; a wildfire that claims your home; a drought or a flood? There are a lot of things which are definitely out of our control.
Being a planning type person, it is difficult for me to be passive about things at times. But I am learning :). Does it really help when you stress and worry about things you cannot control? Doesn’t this just agitate you and the situation? We put a huge burden on ourselves when we do this and I truly believe this is the root cause of a lot of unhappiness and stress that people feel.
I am going to suggest a compromise – PLOWING – planning + allowing. Plan ahead the best that you can, and do the best for each day, but allow and don’t get your panties in a bunch when things don’t go as planned. Rather look at the situation or problem and pray to move through it with grace. What is it that losing your cool will do? I’m not saying not to feel your emotions when going through a rough patch, but don’t let them define you or the moment. Feel, breathe, and release all that you cannot control or do not understand. Realize that it doesn’t all rest on your shoulders to make things work out in any given situation. Sure you play a part or role at times, but there are things which are definitely out of our control and require grace and faith.
Farmers are such a great example. They plow the fields, turning and agitating the soil, planting the seeds, water the soil, and then wait, and watch. They take care of the new plants, some die, some are growing strong. It takes time and work until harvest, but in reality a lot of the success or failure of the crop is out of their hands. Sometimes they simply have to watch and be patient. It’s not always easy to work hard and see your crops fail. It’s these real world, simple examples that I treasure.
Sow good things and reap good things. Sometimes the results are not what you’d expect or desire. The farmer may have bad years or good years, but he keeps on plowing and sowing, and allowing. Struggling against “what is” never will help you control the situation, especially if it is something far out of our reach. But plowing ahead (planning + allowing) will always yield.
Being positive in rough situations or in the face of the devastation of illness or ruin is not an easy task. However, I have seen example after example of people shining the most brilliantly with their love for themselves and others in times like that. I pray for grace for today sufficient enough for each of our challenges, that we may plow through them with elegance and love.
“There is something about taking a plow and breaking new ground. It gives you energy.” Ken Kesey
“When you put your hand to the plow, you can’t put it down until you get to the end of the row.” Alice Paul