I am a perfectionist. Which is a polite way of saying that I’m a control freak. I want things the exact way I want things, exactly when I want things.
This is all fine, as long as things go exactly the way I want.
Because when things go exactly the way I want, I’m a happy, go-lucky, ray of sunshine.
When things don’t go just so - well, that’s a different story.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. Whether you identify with being a perfectionist, a control freak, or you just get ruffled when things don’t go your way, you know what I’m talking about.
We try to control all sorts of things. Relationships, career, family, other people. We try to control our entire life journey in order to avoid challenges and stay on even ground. “If I could just make life fit this image in my head, then I’m ok.”
Why are we this way? Why do we feel the need to control every one of life’s details in order to stay on level ground?
We are terrified that if things don’t go the way we want them, it’s going to be awful.
Why? Why are we so scared?
A lack of faith. We think we know best and that’s that. We don’t believe that things could turn out better than the best we imagined. We don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. We don’t believe that God is good. We don’t believe that we are being held and supported in this journey.
We keep our focus short. We look at this bump in the road and think, “Oh, gosh it’s hard! It’s too hard! I want it better right now!”
But if we had a longer focus, we’d see that on the other side of all these bumps is the most beautiful meadow you’ve ever laid eyes on.
Well, actually it’s more like on the other side of the bumps are more bumps. And then on the other side of those bumps is a cliff. But at the bottom of the cliff, on the other side of the forest of thorns - there’s the meadow.
Life isn’t easy. No one promised it would be.
But over and over, here’s what has been promised to us - it’s worth it.
It all works out. It doesn’t always work out good, but it always works out for the best.
In other words, it doesn’t always turn out good, the way you want it, according to the little image you have. But it always turns out for the best, in the long run, in the grand scheme of things. And maybe the best is bigger than your little brain can see at the moment, but hold on to the faith that it’s for a reason.
And when you and your little brain can’t see a reason, trust your heart. Ask your heart what lesson this bump in the road can teach you. Can this bump teach you perseverance? Can this bump teach you patience? Can that cliff teach you to let go? Can this thorn teach you to be kinder? The purpose of the journey isn’t to be easy and comfortable. It’s to dig deeper, reach higher, and love harder, full of faith that the meadow is a sure thing.
The meadow is the good stuff, better than you could’ve imagined possible. But you’re only ready for it after you’ve been pushed, prodded, and poked to grow into a better version yourself on the journey there.
So does it always turn out for the best? Yes. Always. If it doesn’t seem that way, you’re either not learning, or your focus is too short.
Where is your life not matching up with your image of what it’s supposed to be?
How is this challenge asking you to grow?
If you met this challenge with more love, more kindness, more compassion, and more heart, how would it be different?
Do you believe that this part of your journey can turn out better than you’ve ever imagined?
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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