When I opened the door to that deputy and received the news, my world suddenly spiraled out of control.
Over the next days, weeks months I would have to do things I never imagined I might do and certainly things I did not WANT to do. So, so much I couldn’t change. So many ways I lost the right to choose.
And I hated it!
Wasn’t long and that sense of helplessness permeated every corner. Even when it didn’t belong there. I began to feel as if I couldn’t control anything.
So in many ways I stopped trying.
But then one day I woke from the fog of despair. I remembered that there WERE some areas of life where I could still make choices.
And it was empowering!
So here’s a list that I pray gives hope to other hurting hearts.
THINGS I CAN CONTROL
- My attitude (how I react to what others say or do)
- My thoughts (with great difficulty sometimes)
- My perspective (when I’m careful to fill my mind, heart and eyes with truth)
- If I’m honest (about ALL things-including my feelings)
- Who my friends are (from my end-can’t stop people from walking away)
- What books I read (I am choosy and only read things that feed my soul)
- What media I consume (stay away from toxic people, topics and television)
- What type of food I eat (healthy, appropriate amounts)
- How often I exercise (a walk, gentle yoga, online video routines)
- How many risks I take (not just physical ones, but also emotional and relational risks)
- How kind I am to others (being wounded does not give me the right to wound)
- How I interpret situations (do I assume the best or the worst?)
- How kind I am to myself (extending the same grace to ME that I extend to others)
- How often and to whom I say, “I love you”
- How often and to whom I say, “Thank you”
- How I express my feelings (I can learn healthy ways to speak my truth)
- Whether or not I ask for help (no one gets “points” for playing the martyr)
- How many times I smile in a day (smiling, by itself, lifts mood-even a “fake” smile)
- The amount of effort I choose to put forth
- How I spend my money
- How much time I spend worrying (or praying or complaining)
- How often I spend moments blaming myself or others for past actions
- Whether or not I judge other people
- Whether or not I try again when I suffer a setback or disappointment (success is getting up one more time than I fall down)
- How much I appreciate the people and things in my life
Exercising control over the parts of my life where I CAN exercise control helps me deal more effectively with the many parts over which I have no control
It does not undo the sorrow and pain of child loss, but it does work to balance the emotional scales.
It makes it easier to face a new day.
It helps me hold onto hope.
And that is a good thing. ❤