Friday, December 23, 2011

Current Events

I was reading a fellow-blogger's article yesterday at One Crafty Mother. (Yes, that's a link.)

She describes a concept she calls "downstream."  It was just what I needed.  

Lots of things are changing in my life lately - there is much about which I know little, and over which I have absolutely no control.  As a recovering control freak and rescuer, I have a difficult time with not being in control even though I know it's good for me.  

She talks about letting go as lifting your feet off the bottom of a river and letting the current carry you.  The metaphor of swimming is more than a little uncomfortable for me.  But that's because I'm a non-swimmer and don't like the water.  My feet must always be able to touch bottom.  Always. Otherwise I panic.  

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That said, the analogy is still quite powerful - in life, in my journey of healing, I'm learning how to let go of the need to supervise, control, fix, or otherwise have an influence over the situations or people involved in a particular desired outcome.  I remember sitting in someone's office recently, and seeing a little card attached to the person's computer monitor - identical to the one I have in various places at home - which gives a slightly different version of the Serenity Prayer.  The original goes, "God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference."  This one says, "God, grant me the Serenity to accept the people I cannot change, Courage to change the person I can, and Wisdom to know it's me."  

It's hard to let go of the compulsion to know what's happening every single minute.  There's a certain comfort that comes from that kind of control.  But letting go and allowing events to unfold, without having (or wanting to have) any control or influence over what happens or any fretting over whether it does or doesn't - that is a skill that I had to learn, and I have succeeded a few times.  Which is more than before (which was zero.)  My fellow-blogger calls this picking up your feet in the current and allowing it to take you "downstream" - wherever it will naturally take you.  

Going against the current is occasionally necessary to stand up for what's right when the people or events are going toward an unhealthy place. 

But doing it all the time is exhausting: I speak from experience! And most of the time, it is more healthy for me to "go with the flow" - to go where God is leading and not to fret about where it might take me.  The events that happen to me in such a current often lead to the most amazing opportunities to help someone or experience something awesome in my relationship with God.  Or to discover something I needed to know about myself.  These 'current events' - more often than not - lead me to myriad 'God-moments' that I would never have experienced otherwise: where God is in complete control and brings things and people into my path that I never would have dreamed.  

The unpredictability of it all both unnerves and exhilarates me.  Sometimes I gasp for breath and clutch out wildly for some point of reference.  Other times, I can actually see some of what He is doing and I'm in awe.  

One thing I will say.  It is never boring.

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