Love and Control

I feel optimistic.

Isn’t that the intent?  I should be able to feel optimistic.

I I I I I.  Me.  I’m feeling good, and I’m thinking about myself and my needs and wants. And that isn’t wrong.  I’m shedding the shackles of “should” and feeling the air of “want.”

Night times are hard.  I get grouchy and impatient and want everything done so I can go do MY stuff.  However I am missing out on some of life’s greatest moments with the precious angels.  Last night I forced myself to stop rushing and to literally breathe them in.  They are so full of light- pure light- and it’s there for the taking.

I got Boog out of the tub, rolled him up in his towel and just squoze him and sucked all the light and happy out of him I could possibly get.  Then I did the same with HM.  We read stories and sing songs every night, but I took my time with it.  I laid aside the list of ME stuff I wanted to get to and just became present in the moment.  They sense it.  They know when I’m not present.  I drank them in and then when it was time for ME, I was happier and more ready to enjoy myself.

I have to stop forcing life to happen.  I have to stop forcing Husband to follow my rhythm.  Maybe if I stop forcing it, we will fall into sync.  But then again, maybe we won’t.  THAT is why I can’t let go- the maybes, the what-ifs.

35 years of “shoulds” is taking its toll on me.  It is hard to differenciate between what is real, and what isn’t.  God isn’t interested in leading me in all things, but I fall back on Him so I can shirk responsibility for my decisions.

I believe prayer should be a meditation- a moment to focus my energy and intent for the day.  Prayer should be used as a “time out” to re-focus and slow down to gain perspective.  God can speak to me if He chooses, or sees a need, but I should be willing and ready to proceed whether or not He chimes in.  I’m always grateful for the assistance, but He gave me a sound mind and a whole boatload of trust to do what needs to be done.

Service-

ugh!  Serving and doing good is paramount to creating and maintaing a positive co-existence in this world.  We must help and do for one another.  Deep down, I believe we all want to help others on some level- but being told that I MUST serve has really clouded that inherent desire.  I believe that God has instituted the Church to help us come to Him- to be our best selves- to be happy- but that structure has hampered many from accomplishing that core objective.  If I look at myself and what I want- helping is very near the top of the list.  I just want to do it on my terms.  I’m not big on schedules.  I’m not big on routine.  I live by emotion with a little pragmatism thrown in for good measure.  So when you tell me that I MUST do this by this date and do it in this way, I’m thrown.

I also like to please and get a lot of my identity from the approval of others, so when I don’t do what I’ve been asked to do, I feel awful.  Then I resent the person asking, and then I feel worse, and then you don’t wonder why so many Mormon women are on anti-depressants.  It’s because of so many SHOULDS that cloud the WANTS that are actually already there.

I have no great ideas as to how to fix the system, but I am going to fix my system.  I’m going to find the wants- to unearth them and let them breathe.  Once the wants are comfortably breathing on their own, I will start throwing in a few little shoulds and see how they all get along.

I want the Church to be a part of my life.  I want my kids to grow up in the Church- but with the knowledge of the Gospel.  I want them to know of their inherent goodness and choice and freedom that will allow them to love the Church even more because they won’t feel controlled by it.  Remember whose plan it was to practice control?

_______

Speaking of control:

codependence.  My middle name.  Remember what  I was just writing about?  About letting Husband go?  Well, since day one I have had major issues with movies.  It began at conception I believe because I remember being in 6th grade and leaving a friend’s party because they were watching Fright Night and I thought it was inappropriate.

Husband loves movies.  I love them too, but he likes movies that I feel very strongly are inappropriate.  If he watches a movie that I don’t particularly agree with, I freak out and it messes with me for days. I KNOW I should let it go.  I cannot let it go.

Can somebody please fix this?

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5 thoughts on “Love and Control

  1. GOOD GRIEF my love….
    I think what is hard about agency is that we all believe WE have the answer for everyone else & they should do what we want them to do. I think it messes with you when I do what I want because you don’t have control (i realize that’s what you said but). Just in case you haven’t noticed, it doesn’t really mess with me when I do what I want & you freak out. YOUR DEAL not mine. So WHY must it continue? Now if’n I went out & killed someone I can see where that might be cause for a little freak out on your part, however, just because I watched DELIVERANCE (rated R. you do realize how many years it has been since I watched a rated R movie don’t you?) IS NOT the end of the world.

    ILOVEYOUSOMUCH!!! Thanks for letting me come home in my heathen state.

  2. My best advice would be to read The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. This book has changed how I look at life completely. Haidt uses an excellent metaphor of Elephant and Rider… the elephant represents many of our unconscious fears and desires, whereas the rider is conditioned to think the elephant should act in a certain way.

  3. I’m not commenting on your post at this time, but trying to get in touch with you. I’m Bror’s wife (your husband’s friend from Utah) and I would LOVE to email. I think your husband has my address. Would just love to talk to you sometime.

  4. I love what you wrote about spending precious moments with you kids. Time spent at night with my kids are some of my fondest memories, and they have paid huge dividends now that they are 15-24. Enjoy the moments, they pass way too quickly.

    I also can relate with your feelings about ‘should’ service. My wife is the most loving, caring, involved, compassionate Relief Society president I have ever met. She left the General RS meeting in tears because a few of the talks heaped so much ‘should’ upon her. If we don’t do our callings, we cause a greater burden upon the few who do, but we need to remember that our greatest calling is at home. When they collide, the calling should be the one that suffers, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Now to practice that!

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