I gave up a long time ago. Well, not that long. Actually, I still struggle with it. My need for control, that is.
Funny thing that, as I grew up with The Serenity Prayer echoing in my ears:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
My mother, an addict of many substances, was consistently repeating this phrase and buying cheap posters, key chains and magnets with this prayer on it. The irony is that back then, if you had asked what one thing I would change if I could, I would have said my mother. My mother was and always has been one of the most eratic people I have ever known. I mean, now that she is dead, she is much more consistent, but at the time, that prayer always struck me as curiously hypocritical falling from her lips.
So it was many years until I actually came to the realization that there was very little in life that I could control, and many years later until I was able to actually stop trying. In fact, I would say it has been several months since I let that go. I'm 48. Just about.
So in a few weeks, I am giving a talk on The Legacy of You, "Taking Back Control." It feels a little bit like a set-up. Not in a bad way, it feels like more like a test. Like all my life has been building up to this moment, and this is like the final exam. Well, maybe not final. But a big one.
All my life has been constant change. When I was young, so many step parents, step brothers, step sisters in and out of my life, then later, partners, jobs, locations, projects. I have come to thrive on change. If I'm being honest, the stimulation of the new was always a great way to distract me from the pain. Maybe it was my own form of addiction, the stimulant of adjustment.
I don't know if I can be still. I don't know if I want to be still. I am not sure if letting go of the stimulation of constant change would be taking contol, or releasing it.
The thought of it scares me. At this point, it is the only thing that does.
Does change scare you? Or does stillness?
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