Do you have a fictional character that you can totally relate to, look up to or even aspire to be? For me it’s Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. What I love about Hermione is her determination to be the best magician – she studies hard, she is always, always prepared, she is determined, and she takes charge of her destiny. I absolutely love her and at the time wanted to be her when I grew up. And yes, for the record, I was probably in my early 30s when I met her. #latebloomer
I have been reading the work of Leo Babauta. He is an author that explores Zen Habits including mediation, reflecting, journaling etc. Don’t let me lose you here…we’re not going there today.
It was his article on February 26 – Our Ever Loving Quest to Control Our Lives that has caught my attention, burrowed in my brain and has been whirling in my thoughts since I read it.
Like this paragraph…
The basic nature of life is that it is everchanging, uncontrollable. When we think we have stability in life, something comes up to remind us that no, we don’t. There is no stability, no matter how much we’d like it. And this kinda freaks us out. We don’t like this feeling of instability, of loss of control. So we do things to cope, out of love for ourselves. These are strategies for control, security and comfort.
And then he goes into ways we try to cope and find comfort in this discomfort…a whole long list. But on that list include items like planning, organizing, and studying. These are great things, yes??? These are how I DO life. But upon reflection, Leo is absolutely spot on…
Maybe you get everything under control — you’re organized, have systems for everything, are spot-on with your productivity, have only healthy habits. Congratulations! You win! Except, things keep coming up that are ruining your perfect palace of control. You get anxiety until you deal with these things, and get control back. But when you were doing that, more things came up. People are calling, emailing, interrupting you, and you get irritated often because everything is getting messy. Your OCD is not resulting in a feeling of comfort and control, but just the opposite.
Yep – spot on. If only I could get and keep the ducks in a row…sigh.
So then the article heads into mindful meditation…where I promised you we wouldn’t go today. But there’s something else…there is the hope and confidence in an unchanging God. He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. No matter how uncomfortable today is, I can count on Him. I can enter his presence and sit in His peace.
So the reality is that I’ll still be one of the most organized people you know. I have systems upon systems. But now, I also have an awareness…asking in my quiet time…what are you trying to control? What am I trying to hold on to or should be letting go? Am I relying on myself or God? Is this about a job well done or an attempt to soothe anxiety? Am I placing my hope and confidence in worldly pursuits? At the very least…I’ll own my crazy and know it’s source :)
xoxox – DM