Its pretty safe to say I’m a control freak. You could possibly label me as a perfectionist (no that is not my subtle way of complementing myself). One thing is for certain: I have a hard time rolling with the punches. In years past if something was too difficult or unforeseen circumstances got in the way of my goals or ambitions – I gave up. I was mentally weak. Tough on the outside and a total wimp on the inside. Who am I kidding? I am still this way.
So for me control has always been important because I want to think that I can dictate my surroundings in order to limit hardships or difficulties. The obvious problem is that is not how life works. No one is in control! Control is an illusion.
Today was overwhelming. It did not go as planned. I was not in control at all. And I was on the verge of just saying, “That’s it, I quit. I am giving up today because its too out of control and I don’t know how to handle it.” Today felt like the inconveniences and obstacles had a snowball effect so by the end of the day the fact that I couldn’t find a place nearby to get quarters to do my laundry seemed like the end of the world!
But I was reminded of something by a total stranger while in Walmart (long story why I had to be there instead of a more preferable store like “Any Store that doesn’t have ‘Walmart’ In the Title”) shopping for an air filter for my apartment. His words were simple yet they made a profound impact. I was complaining (out loud) about the terrible quality of the air filters they had in stock. “Hey man, this is Walmart,” he says jokingly. Then he said something that stuck with me – “Life is not gonna be perfect.” Very interesting choice of words from this rough around the edges fella. He could have said, “Well they are an off brand so the filters won’t be tip top.” He could have said, “Shopping here is not gonna be perfect.” He chose to say to me in a time when I really needed to hear it, “Life is not gonna be perfect.” Thank you random Walmart shopper. You knew exactly what I needed to hear.
After talking on the phone with my sponsor and scarfing down dinner I realized that there will be many days like today. There will be way worse days than today actually. I must start training myself to let go. I must trust God more on the day to day stuff. Its almost as if its easier for me to trust Him with my future and my recovery and reconciliation with family and friends than it is to give him TODAY.
“What can you do today to surrender more to God?” – My sponsor
Most importantly I know that throwing in the towel is no longer an option. I must develop toughness and resiliency. I must trust that God will continue to develop these things in me because I really don’t think I can develop them on my own.
My recovery has not, nor will it ever be a perfect process. There will be bumps and bruises along the way. I will get knocked down. I have to get up, its not an option. I used to think it was an option but now I know that staying down and giving up will indeed be the death of me. So as I wind down this crazy day I am choosing to thank God for teaching me a valuable lesson. Today was not a waste. It was not a bad day. It was a great day because I chose to keep fighting through all the little hardships and I’m better off for it.