Thursday, March 5, 2015

the never ending "what ifs" of life

“If we know exactly where we're going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we'll see along the way, we won't learn anything. ”   ~M. Scott Peck

The above quote reminds me of myself. I went through a time when I thought it important to try to control my life as best I could. Try to think out all the "what ifs" and have an answer or solution for each event that might happen. I guess I thought that would save me from hurt and prepare me best to confront whatever came my way. A way of self-protection. I didn't want to be unprepared or blind sided.

Good in theory maybe, but doing so also caused much stress and anxiety, living through each scenario as if it were happening and planning how to confront and solve each problem. Things that never happened.

I think after losing Edd to cancer and then my mom suddenly, I just didn't want to hurt anymore.

The truth is, and as I see it now, there just aren't enough scenarios we can think up. So many of the "what ifs" never happen. Sometimes they do, but why worry about them beforehand? Why suffer unnecessarily? Now I am believing that if and when an event DOES happen, I will deal with it then. Not beforehand, ruining TODAY.

I have thought a lot about suffering in the last ten years or so, especially the last five. I'm not at peace with it, nor will I ever be I suppose, but I've come a long way. There are some things I just can't even think about or I'll be an emotional wreck. Thinking of the suffering of animals or the horrible hurts some humans are experiencing.... but that is what empathy is about. Those without it are in worse shape. Being aware and a part of others' burdens is part of being human... rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep.

Suffering is part of living. Pain is a part of our existence. Often people try to burrow into a safe place so they do not have to experience it. Some take drugs or do any number of things to not feel their hurts, but in reality the way we learn is by working through our difficulties and problems. All of life should be a journey in learning more.

Having a plan is good. Very good. It's still a part of my makeup, but now I recognize the limitations and even negative consequences of ... thinking too much perhaps?

It also boils down to living by faith and not fear. I choose to not let fear dominate. Faith and letting go brings peace. Faith that God is ultimately in control and all is as it should be and I don't have to have all the answers... indeed I never will have all the answers. Life is mystery. I cannot change people or events. But I can love and learn and live every day with a grateful heart.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post so much - EXACTLY what I needed to hear today! I don't know why it's so hard to live life through faith. Fear we don't have it right? I need to have more confidence that I am getting the right messages through faith and prayer, and most of all - to let go when I've done all I can do. Thank you, friend, for reminding me of that today.