As much as I hate to admit it, I'm just not in charge. If I was we would probably be in trouble. I really, really like to imagine that I do have some control over my life and the life of those I love. Like if I do the right things, good things will happen, if I take the right path, it will lead me to where I want to be, etc. I have hopes, dreams, wishes for myself and other people and I start to think that I can make them all come true, because sometimes I get lucky and things go the way I want.
The truth is that I'm just not that powerful. This has been a hard truth for me to accept. I was in major denial. I think the reason it has taken me so long to accept this is because it has taken me a long time to realize that I wasn't as humble as I thought. It took me a long time to realize that I didn't trust anyone but me. This included my idea of God.
I was raised as a Catholic. I went to a Catholic school for thirteen years of my life. We went to church all the time as part of our school, we went on Sundays, we learned about our faith in our school classes. I wanted to believe in what I was told about God and Jesus but it just didn't ever sink to a level of trust for me. I liked the idea of someone or something being good and loving and in charge of my life, but I didn't really believe that. I used to see the little old ladies in the front row of our church praying their rosaries before Sunday service and think, maybe it happens when you are their age. Until then, I was on my own.
In my mid-twenties I was faced with a situation that tested my limits as a person. I did not know how to handle the situation and no one around me knew what to do either. I was introduced to a program of recovery where I was offered a spiritual solution to my problems. Oh boy, here we go again I thought, the God stuff. I entered the skeptic I had always been and I got a lot of what I had always gotten, drama, pain, frustration, fear, exhaustion.
One day I was at my absolute end. I knew I was either going to wind up in jail or a mental institution if I didn't find a new way to deal with an old problem. Someone I loved wasn't doing what I wanted them to do, what I knew was best for them. I sat there thinking of my options. I couldn't do what I had been doing. I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I was stuck. It was then that I remembered what everyone had been talking about all that time in my childhood and in my program, God could do things for me that I couldn't do for myself.
I got out some paper, I write, it is who I am. I wrote a letter to God (I didn't even really know what that meant to me on that day). In the letter I let God know all of the things that I had been trying to control and fix and force and be in charge of. I let God know that I was just letting it all go. I was giving up. Not in an I Quit way, but in an I'm going to trust that You have a better answer way. I cried, I felt guilty for letting go, but I let it go.
Things worked out that day and in the coming days in ways I would not have thought. Change was brought about by people I would not have trusted to help. It did not go the way I wanted for the other person, but I had peace of mind for the first time maybe ever. That was about 15 years ago. I take a long time to really learn things.
In the last 15 years, my ideas of God have changed often. I am on a spiritual path to find a personal relationship with something bigger than me. At the present moment I call her Goddess. I still struggle to believe and trust that I don't have to be in full control every minute of my life and that I can trust that I will be led to good things and so will the people I love. I've learned that life is so big and wonderous that I cannot even imagine certain things that come to be in my life. My mind was limited but if I could let go and trust, limits disappeared and amazing paths were revealed to me.
Recently my trust has been tested. I have been reminded that I've only scratched the surface of the goodness that is available to me with a trust in something bigger than me. I was ill, very ill, and unable to be in charge or control of much of anything. I made a decision on the first day of illness to give in to it. To trust that I could handle it. To trust that my body was made for this and let it work, without over burdening it. This meant that I had to rest. I had to let others care for me and care for themselves. During this time, I was reminded that people that I love face challenges too. I received news that people that I loved were struggling and having challenges, some exciting, some scary. I was reminded that if I could relax and rest and trust a Higher Power to lead me to health and wellness, that I could also relax and let go of my worry about others. They had something in charge of them too. All would work out without my intervention. I can still hope and dream, but most important is to trust.
It is not easy. I struggle, I forget, I fear, I fail. This week I shared my fear and struggle with someone I trust and they helped me to imagine myself sitting with my fears in one hand and my love and trust in another hand and just letting them be. Then imagining the most beautiful rain falling on me filled with unconditional love from something that was bigger, more powerful, and more loving than I could imagine. At first I was just going through the motions, doing what I was told, but then I felt this warmth wash over me. I cannot describe it, because I have never felt it before. It was a feeling I have no words for but hope to feel again often. I imagine it is the feeling that we had as newborns when all of our needs were met and we were being held in the most loving arms of our mothers. All is well. We can relax and be taken care of. Someone else is in charge and all is well.
So I don't have any answers. I'm not miraculously cured of my illness. The people I love are still struggling. What is gone is my frantic need to figure it all out, fix it all, and have the solutions. It is replaced by a trust, a knowing. Knowing that if I take good loving care of me, I'm doing all I can. That if I love my people well, there are no regrets ever. That if I don't see the answer now, it doesn't me there isn't one, and when it is time, it will be revealed to me. It's actually a huge relief to let go, not in the I give up way, but in the I trust You way. I always thought faith was something I had to work on, not an experience I could have anytime I allow it. The relationship with Goddess, I'm discovering, is perfect and there waiting for me, I just have to trust, let go, and experience it.