“I can’t handle it anymore!” We may have thought this, but never said it out loud. Why? It would be like admitted defeat. Like losing. Like being a quitter. The reality is that we learn in recovery, we shouldn’t have been holding on to it anyway. Handling and manipulate come from the same root word, manus in Latin.
hand and handle
manipulate and manage
They all come from manus (hand in Latin.) Get the idea. We try to control the things that are uncontrollable. We have our hands in things that we shouldn’t. I know…I am using a lot of shoulds when writing about this, but this may be one should that is necessary. Really necessary.
You see, we can never find peace when we are over controlling life. We try to manage people, places and things that disturb us, that cause us pain or discomfort. The more we manage, the less peace we have. We find that no amount of manipuation can bring peace. Ultimately, we may find ourselves facing the loss of someone we love and we can’t stop them from leaving or dying. We can’t stop the illness we may be facing. We can change our response to it and this is key.
When we accept life on life’s terms, we will begin to find peace. This doesn’t mean settling for less necessarily, but it does mean letting go of control. We apply our energies in what we can change or what we can do. We can first of all pray and ask the loving God of the Universe to come to our aid. This is the most important thing we may do in this life–to surrender control of our world and give God an opportunity to come to us and do things that are unimagineably good. When we do this, we will find serenity.
How many of us could find sobriety without Him?
To admit that our lives are unmanageable (Step 1) in recovery means that that our livs are unhandleable. I cannot manage it anymore.
How many have let Him guide a situation and it turned out better than we thought? How many of us have held onto something…worried, fretted and tried to control the outcome and it turned out real well? We may have the illusion that control works because a lot of things that we worried about never happen. But this is a false cause and effect. It only appeared that because we worried, that our children came home safely.
Some of us, have had panic and worry because something tragic did happen. This threw us for a loop. We didn’t expect it and it turned out bad. The friend died from cancer. One of our children was in a car accident. We lost the job when we got that physical injury when we thought it couldn’t get worse. We lost our lover when our backs were turned.
So, is control the answer? No. I don’t think so. We won’t find peace by trying to prevent unpleasant things from happening. There is a time for everything. A time to live. A time to die. A time for peace. A time for war. There is a season and a purpose. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15.) These things are beyond our control.
So, how do we live in peace? It is not about external circumstances. It is about the kingdom of God within us. St. Paul said it is a secret to learn to be content in whatever circumstances. So do you want peace? Look to the Lord in everything. In everything give thanks. (1 Thess 5:18) Surrender your life to Him and ask His will to be done and for strength to carry that will out. You will be surprized.