Who Is Really in Control?

Who Is Really in Control?

(Part 5 of 7 in the Learning How to Trust Series)

Today begins Part 5 in the series, Learning How to Trust.  Our topic for the day is a biggie — all in one word: CONTROL!

Much of our lives is spent trying to gain or maintain control over a situation, a person, or an outcome.  When this fails, we get the sense that we’re out of control.  Feelings of anxiety, worry, and helplessness surface, which all boil down to FEAR at the most basic level.

At what point in our lives do we become aware that we’re not in control?  Oh wait…you do know that, right?  That we are not in control.  Seriously, it’s true.  When I stopped to ask myself what I have control over, the answer, as I scratched my head, was, hmm, not a heck of a lot.

Let’s cut right to the big one — I have no control over my mortality.  Not when I die, not how I die.  Now that that’s out of the way….

Okay.  How about this one?  In general, do I have control over my kids?  I may occasionally live under the illusion that I have control over them, but the truth is, I don’t.  I have control over the food I put in front of them, but not necessarily what or how much they eat.  I have control over what time I put them to bed, but not necessarily how much sleep they get.  Or how well they sleep.

Again, what do I have control over?  It may not seem like a lot, but this is HUGE.  I have control over choices about how I live.  And I choose to live believing in a higher power.  One who knows and sees far more than I am capable of.  One who knows that if I die today, tomorrow, or decades from now, I will have touched the precise lives I was supposed to touch within that precise period of time.

Part of having control over how I choose to live goes back to a previous lesson we learned:  how we react to a situation.  Do we choose to invent What Ifs that poise us to internalize fear and worry or do we choose to see What Is?  One is a prison, a self made mind-prison, the other is the key that unlocks the cell. 

When it comes to controlling outcomes and other people, I don’t have much control at all.  That’s simply the truth.

Once I understood how fruitless my efforts to control ANYTHING were, the act of surrendering and letting go became much easier.

Going back to an early TLT post, and to this day, the story that illustrates more depth on how trust works than any other story I have run across, I’d like to re-share a famous Sufi story with you:

A man just got married and was returning home with his wife.  They were crossing a lake in a boat when suddenly a great storm arose.

Although the husband was a strong warrior and had always protected her, the wife became very much afraid because it seemed almost hopeless.  The boat was small, but the storm was huge, and at any moment they were going to be drowned.  But the man sat silently, calm and quiet, as if nothing were happening.

The woman was trembling as she said, “Are you not afraid?  This may be our last moment of life!  It doesn’t seem that we will be able to reach the shore.  Only some miracle can save us; otherwise, death is certain.  Are you not afraid?  Are you mad?  Are you a stone or something?”

The man laughed and took his sword out of its sheath.  The woman was even more puzzled.

What was he doing?  Then he brought the sword close to the woman’s neck — so close that just a small gap was there.  It was almost touching her neck.  He said, “Are you afraid?”

She started to laugh and said, “Why should I be afraid?  If the sword is in your hands, why should I be afraid?  I know you love me.”

He put the sword away and said, “This is my answer.  I know the power I call God.  He loves me, and the sword is in His hands, as the storm is in His hands — so whatever is going to happen is going to be good.  If we survive, good;  if we don’t survive, good — no matter what happens, Thy Will Be Done.”

~~~~

“…whatever is going to happen is going to be good.  If we survive, good; if we don’t survive good….

Excuse me?  If we don’t survive, GOOD?

Yes.  That’s correct.  Good.  It is not for us to understand.  There are more factors at play here than we can humanly comprehend in this line of thinking/believing, so I don’t even try.  Instead, I trust.

This is the trust one must imbibe. Such tremendous trust is capable of transforming your whole life. And ONLY such tremendous trust is capable of transforming your life—less than that won’t do.

Chinese Character for Trust

It’s not to late to share with a friend, as we still have a few more posts to go in this Learning How to Trust series.  Next we’ll be discussing letting go of control…and all that that means.  Stay tuned TLT Readers!  And thank you for your support in passing along the message of trust.

In love and trust,
Leslie

To be taken to the full series on Learning How to Trust contained in one post, click here.

One Hell of a Year!

Although today isn’t officially New Year’s Eve, in sticking with my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule, today’s article has the honor of being the last Trust Life Today (TLT) post of the year.  Why honor?  Because the first post was on January 1st, which means this post will not only finish up the year of 2011, it also completes one year of me writing for you (and let’s be honest, writing for me too)!!

I’ve LOVED every minute of it.

Here are a few highlights of 2011:

January 1 – the first TLT article appeared

January 21 – I retold THE story that changed so much of my thinking and perspective on Trust; it’s entitled Sufi Story.

Month of May – TLT Quote Totes/bags began being carried at all SampleHouse & CandleShop locations around Dallas

May 10 – went in for my first mammogram two days before turning 41 (the rule follower in me just had to check that box while legitimately still 40 years old).  Although I didn’t know it at the time, the journey had already begun.

July 15 – received diagnosis of breast cancer

September 7 – underwent double mastectomy.  Great news!  They got it ALL!  No need for radiation or chemo!!  (But still looking into whether or not I needed to take an oral preventative drug.)

September 28 – received wonderful news that NO oral drug was recommended

December 8 – I received notification that one of my TLT articles would be published in the Holistic Networker Magazine’s 20 Year Anniversary edition

December 9 – received reconstructive surgery, which held the place holder of HAPPY ENDING

~~~~

I share this timeline of sorts with you, not entirely to mark the passing of events, but also to reflect on how we are unable to connect the dots before, or often even as they are happening.

As I sit here today, December 30th, I’m blown away.  I’m blown away thinking how one year ago today I hadn’t even written the first TLT article.  If you would have told me then the gratification I would receive from connecting with you, I’m not sure I would have believed it.

If you had told me on December 30th of last year, that within the year I would receive a cancer diagnosis, learn more about a topic I otherwise would still be in the dark about, meet more doctors and attend an unimaginable number of doctor’s appointments, alter my physical body, and through it all, grow more into ME than I would have ever thought possible… well, I’m not sure I would have believed that either.

Here’s the thing.  I had no clue what was coming down the pike for me.  I had no idea to prepare for something as life altering as what I experienced.  Not for myself, and not for my family.  But Life has given me skills.  Precious gifts.

How absolutely ironic that all my years of studying Trust would lead me to write about Trust, only to have me live out Trust publicly here, with you.  Ironic or synchronistic?

Of course it doesn’t stop here.  Life continues with its joys and struggles.  With how I choose to perceive other’s actions, my reactions… ALL of it.  But I must say, Thank God I get it.  Thank God I get how to Trust.

Who knows what this next year holds for me?  For you?  Who knows what tomorrow holds for us, for that matter?  Are you ready to have your actions be led by fear or love?  Are you ready to live your life with Trust?  Trusting there is a greater, Divine force guiding you, even if you don’t know how or why?

So as we end this Hell of a Year, this Hell of a Beautiful Year, my prayer for you is this:

I pray that you lead your life by Love and live your life with Trust.  Amen.

 

I Wanted Good News, but Mostly I Wanted Peace…

Give Me Peace

The story that follows was told by my friend Joy:

“My son Danny required surgery four years ago to biopsy some growths in his jawbone.  The doctor said it would take five days for him to determine if it was cancerous.  FIVE days?!  I freaked out and didn’t feel like I would be able to deal with the waiting.

At that time, I was studying ACIM (A Course in Miracles).  I was so miserable about the current circumstances, that I decided to do what The Course suggests, which is basically Surrender (Trust Life).

The moment I was able to Surrender, a wave of peace swept over me and I felt I heard God’s voice say, “It doesn’t matter what happens.”  This was not at all a cryptic message.  I understood it to mean that it’s not what the doctor was going to tell me that would bring peace into my life.

I wanted good news, but mostly I wanted peace and freedom from being at the mercy of the vicissitudes of life. There would always be another issue to fret about.  There would always be something my mind would try to latch on to and worry about.  But I wanted to learn how to deal with life with an inner-knowing that all would work out without me ‘doing‘ anything.”

The Peace of a Warrior

As I read Joy’s story for the first time, I couldn’t help thinking about the “Sufi Story” I posted last month.  In the story, a warrior and his wife are facing a tremendous storm while they are out at sea.  The wife is afraid for their lives, yet she is also baffled by how calm her husband appears to be – so much so, that she questions his sanity.

In response to her questions regarding his behavior, the warrior puts his sword to her neck and asks if she is afraid.  She laughs and says no, because she knows he loves her and will not hurt her.  Now, this is the part of the story that reminds me of Joy’s story – it’s also the part of the story I read over and over because of its poignance.  The warrior explains that whatever is going to happen is going to be good because they’re in Gods hands.  “If we survive, good; if we don’t survive, good…”

Good, I thought?  Really?  I rephrased it in my mind as, “If we survive, good; if we die, good.”  I contemplated that sentence for several days until I felt what the Sufi story was indeed trying to teach.  Once I could feel what it was teaching (a true trust in Our Creator), the following part of the story became so much more powerful to me:

“This is the trust one needs to imbibe.  Such tremendous trust is capable of transforming your whole life.  And ONLY such tremendous trust is capable of transforming your life — less than that won’t do.”

To trust in God.  To Surrender fully.  Or as Joy stated, “I wanted to learn how to deal with life with an inner-knowing that all would work out without me ‘doing‘ anything.”

And when you’ve done all…stand.  Trust.  Surrender.

PeaceSubscribe above to receive blog posts delivered directly to your inbox.  Don’t miss an opportunity to learn to Trust Yourself and Life.   Love, Leslie

Sufi Story

There is a famous Sufi story:

A man just got married and was returning home with his wife.  They were crossing a lake in a boat when suddenly a great storm arose.

Although the husband was a strong warrior, and had always protected her, the wife became very much afraid because it seemed almost hopeless.  The boat was small, but the storm was huge, and at any moment they were going to be drowned.  But the man sat silently, calm and quiet, as if nothing were happening.

The woman was trembling and she said, “Are you not afraid?  This may be our last moment of life!  It doesn’t seem that we will be able to reach the shore.  Only some miracle can save us; otherwise, death is certain.  Are you not afraid?  Are you mad?  Are you a stone or something?”

The man laughed and took his sword out of its sheath. The woman was even more puzzled.

What was he doing?  Then he brought the sword close to the woman’s neck — so close that just a small gap was there.  It was almost touching her neck.  He said, “Are you afraid?”

She started to laugh and said, “Why should I be afraid?  If the sword is in your hands, why should I be afraid?  I know you love me.”

He put the sword away and said, “This is my answer.  I know the power I call God.  He loves me, and the sword is in His hands, as the storm is in His hands — so whatever is going to happen is going to be good.  If we survive, good;  if we don’t survive, good — no matter what happens, Thy Will Be Done.”

This is the Trust one must imbibe.  Such tremendous Trust is capable of transforming your whole life.  And ONLY such tremendous Trust is capable of transforming your life — less than that won’t do.

If this Sufi story rings true to you, please join me in Letting Go, and Trusting Life.

If you’re thinking, “I like the story, but how do I Let Go and Trust Life?”  My short answer: “One day at a time.”  My long answer?  Contact me.  I’d love to discuss.