If there is one thing that is very hard for you to give up, what would that be? Perhaps a hobby? Your status in the community? A prized possession? A relationship?
Fair enough, but I have one more word for you, and I bet this didn’t even make it to your list of answers to the question.
With all the buzz words accompanying our faith like ‘trust’ and ‘surrender’, ‘control’ still reigns above all else in the way we go through our everyday lives. It is right up there at the very top of our methods for survival.
I am guilty of this and indeed there is perhaps no other profession than mine that fosters this obsession with control. My previous workplaces in a newsroom, a publishing office and a communications unit in a corporate environment required attention to detail and a focus on the end product. The process was of minor importance compared to the final output, and there could be many strained relationships with project partners in the attempt to control the process so that the final delivery met or exceeded expectations. The end justifies the means–or does it?
I find that giving up control and sharing the responsibility is actually acknowledging the talents, ideas of the other person. It is affirming that I have no sole ownership of skill, and that everyone has something to contribute to the table. Trust, and give up control.
In my biggest project of raising a family, I share the parenting responsibility with my husband. Not only does this affirm his key role as the father of my children, but it also helps me to offload my worries and concerns. My mind is not filled with all these nagging ‘what if’ thoughts knowing that the responsibility for my children does not rest solely on me and that there is somebody else looking out for them. Now that our girls are older, there is less and less need for control, and I am learning to trust their capacity to accomplish and achieve things without my direction. These days I look at them and appreciate how they can manage to survive with less intervention from me. My eldest, aware of my tendency to worry, has even learned how to calm me. When I SMS to check on them after school, her one constant reply: ‘We’re all good mum’. Trust, and give up control.
As I drive in the early mornings, having left my family still in bed, I have the tendency to overthink about their welfare for the day. My proven strategy is to go through my usual litany of worries about their wellbeing, as I meditate on the Holy Rosary. I offload to God, and the voice I hear very clearly in my head, after I have whispered my last in a long list of petition (for safety, wellbeing, protection, good health, happiness–and more!) is, ‘You’re alright. I’ve got this.’
And so I trust, and give up control.
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