There is no way to rush things, no way to make things happen faster, sooner, quicker. Right now we wait for lots of people to make many decisions about a future that feels out of control.
But truly, we never really have control over our futures anyway, but we sure do like to pretend that we do. I found out that lack of control in the summer of 2011, just a few short month before things “really” changed. I was working in a job that I used to define who I was; it was a position that I relished, and one that I felt proud to have.
Until it was taken away in one fell swoop.
That level of betrayal, on many levels, from trusted people, hits you like nothing else can. I couldn’t believe what had happened, and the pieces that accompanied it – crying, lying, and pain – became my defining feelings. How could something like this have happened? How could people that were once considered trustworthy become not? How do I deal with a loss so devastating that I no longer knew who I was, or who to trust?
Life became untrustworthy; I was no longer in control.
I never was in control in the first place, who was I kidding.
Getting over the shock took a few months, and just as I felt like I might have my feet back on the ground, the teetering platform that I had begun to rebuild myself on was kicked out from under me on January 2, 2012.
Two hits in six months.
But an interesting thing began to happen that first week of January while sitting in the hospital, hour after hour, waiting, having NO control over another aspect of my life.
I released myself to it. I visualized myself desperately hanging on to string after string, controlling every aspect of life; children, marriage, work, Frank’s recovery, everything that I was attempting to hold on to and deal with every day.
And I quietly, without anyone knowing, let them all go.
I gave in. I released myself, and gave over my control to the one person that truly had control of the situation.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t hard, and it brought me immense peace and calm.
No longer bound by my fear of lack of control, I was given the things that I TRULY needed in the moments that I needed them; a hug from an officer, a Caribou hot chocolate, a laugh from a friend, a good night’s sleep, good news about Frank. I began to trust that my control wouldn’t make the difference, so I stopped putting huge amounts of energy trying to keep it.
Today I still have that peace, although there are times that I need a reminder that I cannot control my world, and that I need to breathe in my moments every day, and remember that it WILL BE OKAY, no matter what the outcome of each day may be.
I long ago let go of the pain caused by that abrupt shift in my definition of who I was, and let go of trying to control the outcome of Frank’s recovery – no one works harder than he does, and his gifts will be used where they are needed.
He will never be done with law enforcement; that I know. We just don’t know what the future will look like yet.
I also learned that there is a big difference between defining oneself by what we do, instead of who we are. I think many of us get wrapped up in what we do and think it defines us; how about we define ourselves by the acts that make us proud to be who we are?
Maybe then we would learn that being who we are is just fine. And good enough.