Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 48: The Illusion Part I

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

My husband and I are very well matched. By that I mean we share lots of values and interests and not a single character trait. He's early, I'm late. He's optimistic, I'm pessimistic. He's a dreamer, I'm a realist. The entire list carries on that way. We could be the poster children for two people who are good on their own coming together to make each other great; that's how well we fill in each other's gaps. And of course we could also be the poster children for two opposite people driving each other insane with various shenanigans. But at least life is never boring.

When he was involved in a fender bender last week, it got me to thinking about one of these ways in which we're so opposite and why.

He handles daily chaos with ease. He doesn't lose his cool or sweat the small stuff, he focuses on the things he can change and lets go of the things he can't. It's beautiful, and I'm so jealous of it. But the flip side is that his crisis management skills aren't so finely tuned. The big things, a car accident for example, bring him to the same frenzied state I live in most days.

Not being able to get my two year old out the door without enduring at least four major stall tactics is maddening, makes me feel powerless and angry. But a car accident we can't afford? Meh, it'll work out. And being the analytical thinker that I am, it made me ask why. Why can I handle the big stuff without worry, when I'm paralyzed by the little, everyday stuff? The answer that came to me: the illusion of control.

I live under the illusion that control is within my reach. I'm constantly grabbing for it, because I actually think it's there for the taking. But when circumstances are well beyond me, when the loss of control is so big that the illusion is shattered, I'm released from that and forced into into acceptance. Accepting that I have no control brings me to a place of trust out of sheer necessity.

That trust is the game-changer, and the topic I'll continue with tomorrow...



  1. Oh the control thing! Such a struggle for me. Somehow, because I never got to control anything in life, not even what I studied. I started to try and control the people in my life. And especially with the little one who has a very strong will, that often turns to vinegar. Now the strange things is that even though I seek to control all the time, I desperately want someone to take the control (but then do it just right just the way I want it)...

  2. //I desperately want someone to take the control (but then do it just right just the way I want it)...//
    I had a good laugh when I read that. This is exactly where I'm at. Why can't anyone else do anything right? ;) I want to get out from under the pressure, but I'm not willing to sacrifice even a minute detail of how I want things done.