Control and Gratitude

To some it might seem like my life, especially my inner life, is chaotic and busy.   I might agree, but I also know that a lot of good growth is happening and I’ve found journaling (specifically morning pages – thank you, Julia Cameron!) to be extremely useful in clarifying things.  So, what I have on my mind today is control, but also gratitude.

I have always desperately wanted to be in control.  Desperately.  i have tried my hardest to make life cooperate over and over again.  I am constantly and repeatedly shown that life is not going to cooperate.  Why?  Because I don’t get to be in control.  I am not the puppeteer.  I am learning.  Maybe slowly.  Maybe I’ve lost friends over time because of my needing to be in control.  And I can see it so much more clearly now.  It’s desperately hard to admit that I’ve been a control freak.  But as I slowly start to let go, I realize that even though it feels too late, like I should have done this decades ago, I realize in my head, if not in my heart, that yes, this might be late, but waiting longer would only perpetuate the problem.  I am not in control – primarily of others actions, feelings, opinions of me or anything else about them.  In a way, I wish I was and in a way, what a relief!!!!

So, today I received an email from a friend – quite an angry one.  He has recently reunited with his girlfriend.   There were some hurtful things said in this letter that did not describe me at all.  Hurtful things that sounded very much like they were coming straight from the mouth of the girlfriend – things that are not true about me.  So, I got my virtual shield out and reminded myself – this is not about me, it is about somebody else – somebody’s fear, somebody’s hurt.  Immediately, though, I find my inner voice telling me that I cannot be fully absolved of responsibility – I am culpable in some way – whether it’s big or little.  And that’s true.  I cannot deny some responsibility.  So, I own that piece of the puzzle and then firmly reject the pieces that are about somebody else’s hurts and fears.  Yet, they have been said and I doubt.  I doubt not only myself, but I doubt all previous relationships – family relationships, friendships, marriage, etc.  Has it been me all along?  And no matter how much I know about myself and my struggles and my weaknesses, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it isn’t all about me.  Hasn’t all been my fault.  I have been willing to accept blame – blame even for things that I haven’t done.  I have accepted being labeled and generally scapegoated.  And it’s ok to stop that.  I will not agree with everyone.  I will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t make me a certain type of person.  I will continue to do my very best to live with integrity.  To own my pieces of the puzzle.

So, how does this have to do with control?  I think this girlfriend is in the same place I was even just a few years ago – she is trying to control.  She needs to control.    Maybe not me, but maybe her boyfriend, my friend.  I pray that she finds freedom from this, for that is a very sad and lonely place to be.  And then I turn my thoughts inward and I pray the same for myself.  What a journey of freedom I’m embarking on.  Freedom from controlling, freedom from alcohol and debt.

And as part of that I feel deep gratitude – for even the little things.  So, today, I’m grateful for so much.  I’d like to find a place to document all of my gratitude, so will start a separate post containing everything I’m grateful for.

I’m grateful for this blog – for having the courage to write in it.

I’m grateful for the many, many wonderful memoirs that are out there.

I’m grateful for a clear head today.

I’m grateful for a new month and the ability to plan out paying off my loans, while still saving for retirement.

I’m grateful for the generosity of my fiance.

I’m grateful for having found an amazing church in Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, Colorado.

I’m grateful for my relationship with my children.

I’m grateful to not be afraid of dogs anymore.

I’m grateful to be gluten free and to feel so much better than I did for so long.

I’m grateful for beautiful sunsets.

I’m grateful for cool breezes.

I’m grateful for music.

I’m grateful for wind chimes.

I am truly just grateful.

The list goes on and on and on.

Oh, and since this is a continued blog, I will say that I asked my beloved fiance last night on a walk during sunset how much of his love for me is related to alcohol and he said….0%.  He said he will love me drinking or not drinking.  That he loves me no matter what.  And I believe him.  I still am intrigued by the experiment of the next year.

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