Giving Up Control
Control is a dangerous illusion.
I'm not saying that everything is out of your hands and that nothing you do matters. It does matter. You do matter. The problem comes when you get it into your mind that everything is on your shoulders.
That if you don't go out there and make something happen then nothing will happen and everything will be terrible and never change and you'll just go on living the same life you always had in the same job doing the same things over and over until you retire or die or win the lottery or until you finally do that thing that you...
You get the picture.
You see, I've had a rough few weeks. A big part of the problem is that I'm not the kind of person to let out my stress in constructive ways, instead I bottle it all up and it builds on itself until I completely lock up. It's unhealthy, and it causes a wide range of physical ailments that are both scary and frustrating in themselves. So when I look at my job and it's not ticking the boxes that I want it to tick, and my writing isn't moving anywhere noticeable, I start to get into that stress loop and can't see a way out. When I'm stuck on a project that's dysfunctional and circling the drain, I shut down instead of creating solutions.
My primary failure mode is implosion.
It's because I want to be in control of everything. I want everything to happen right now and perfectly and never go wrong again. It's not realistic, and I've already mentioned it's not healthy.
Now, I've heard all of the advice before, that I need to just let go and focus on good things and do the work and wait on the good to come, but part of me rebels against that sort of advice. You could tell me all day every day to keep a journal and think about the things I'm thankful for, and I might do it for a while and then quit or do it and see nothing change. Again, because I want to be in control of everything and make it all come to fruition on my own terms. It's hard advice for me to take. I'm not saying I'm uniquely unsuited to this sort of talk, but that I'm stubborn about it. I don't even know if I had read this blog post from myself I would have understood fully.
The thing is, I just had to give it up. I just had to do what I knew I had to do and just wouldn't follow through on. I had to put away everything that was distracting me from the things that are going on in my life right now, to do the work that I have in front of me even though it's not exactly what I want to be doing, and trust that God is going to work out the rest. That is something I can rest in. He's already done it, he has something planned that he will work out, and who am I to say what and when and where that will be?
What is the secret to letting go? Admitting to myself that I can't do anything.
No, really, I can't do anything. That's not to say that I'm incompetent or beating down on myself. It's the only way that I know to move forward. I can't do anything, and it's only because of God that I do or have anything. As long as I can remind myself of that, everything else seems to fall into place. I am inadequate, and that's all right.
When I finally just let go, I mean really let go, that was when I felt the burden lift. I could sit here all day and preach to you about trusting in God's plan and waiting for his timing, but I wasn't doing any of it. It's something I'm still working on too. I'm not perfect, I don't have this figured out, but I like to think that I'm getting there.
In my inadequacy I find more than I could ever imagine.