Monday, October 17, 2011

Bound to Happen

I'm sure you've met the kind of people who pay a lot of lip service to living a life of trust and faith, and yet their actions belie their words.  I've been there a few times more than I would like to admit, myself.  We want to believe things will work out fine, but in the final analysis our feeble affirmations do nothing to delay the inevitable that (if we'd really been honest with ourselves) we knew was coming down the pike.  In fact, our denial that anything was wrong might even have put us in danger because we just failed to get out of the way.  After all, things might improve.  (Uh, that's called denial.) Usually it ends up with us being in situations out of which we can't extricate ourselves because we realized it too late, much like when Wile E. Coyote sees a boulder coming toward him and puts up that little teensy umbrella with one hand and a sign that says "Help" with the other hand - without ever thinking of trying to escape it.

We can get sucked into that kind of mind-set too.  It's really easy.  Become obsessed with a single idea to the exclusion of all others and it's bound to happen.  Denial sets in. We ignore the warning signs that we should get away, out of a bad situation, or that we need to seek help for something that is beyond our ability to fix.  

We shove down the doubts that creep in, and try to put a positive spin on things.  Or we succumb to worry that things will end badly, and we become fretful and upset, feeling guilty for "not speaking in faith."  And the inevitable happens.  Stuff hits the fan and we end up hurt, grieving, lost, and bewildered. And disillusioned.

Instead of accepting what circumstances (or people) we can't change, we rail against what is, wonder why it is the way it is, and waste precious energy in trying to find someone to blame for the way it is.  Instead of changing what we can (and from experience I've found that the only thing I can change is my own mind and behavior, and only with help) we hesitate, paralyzed by fear that we'll make it worse.  And when the fallout hits - it usually does - we feel this nameless sense of guilt but we aren't quite sure why.  After all, it has to be our fault somehow, right?

The truth is so much more freeing.  Yes, actions have natural consequences.  Yes, bad things happen sometimes.  Yes, sometimes even after we pray and pray and pray, people get sick, lose their jobs, or are cruel to others, and there seems to be nothing we can do about it.  We rebel against that.  We like to think that we have some control over the outcome.  

The truth is .... that we don't.  It's not out job to control what happens, to dispense retribution for wrongs committed, to fix other people's problems or dysfunction.  The truth is that we can let those things go, that we can release our grip on all those injustices.  We can set boundaries around our own lives and we can trust others to set boundaries around theirs; if they don't, they will learn to do it the hard way.  Just like we are learning  -  if they (and we) are honest, open, and willing.  

It's bound to happen.

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