Two weeks ago, on a quiet Saturday night, I got a phone call from my nephew. Being the prankster that he is, I normally take what he says with a grain of salt. “We have a little flooding problem over here and mom needs you to come over.” Not taking him seriously, I calmly said, “Devin, really?” “Yes, really” he says. We repeated these same words three times before I realized he was serious.
As I jumped in my car, I still wasn’t 100% convinced he wasn’t pulling another prank. Then I walked into their home. My sister was devastated, as she watched the ‘rain’ from the second story continue to fall onto our grandmothers antique dining room set. We moved as fast as we could to remove belongings, dry furniture and figure out what to do next. All the while, I just held my sister, telling her this was just temporary. We would get everything repaired and before she knew it, her home would be her castle again.
Like me, her home is her sanctuary. It’s the place we go to when we need calm and quiet. It’s a peaceful feeling when our home is clean, free of clutter and everything is in its proper place. We are in control. Or are we? Yes and no.
To think that we have total control over everything in our lives is a bit ignorant. At least in my opinion. We don’t. And that alone can make some people go nutty. As a control freak myself, I oftentimes struggle with this myself. But, here is how I find my balance.
First, I’ve learned to let go and hand over my issues to God. If that offends you, I’m sorry. But, finding a higher source to lean on, gain strength from and get direction from is, I believe, the first step towards finding peace. Whether you are dealing with a flood in your home, a health scare or money challenges, finding a source of strength, other than yourself, is paramount in getting through it.
Second, with those issues you do have control over, take the bull by the horns. For example, if you have money challenges, such as mounting credit card debt, take proactive steps towards resolving this. Contact your creditors and try negotiating lower interest rates or do a balance transfer to a zero percent interest rate card (Citicards and Discover have some nice offers right now). Then, cut up your cards. Don’t close the account, as this will oftentimes lower your credit score.
Another aspect you do have control over is your mindset. If you think you’re set up for failure or set up to succeed, you are right. Having a positive mindset, despite the bumps, will carry you through difficult times. Read uplifting books or get involved with an activity that brings you absolute joy. It’s not always easy, I’ll give you that, but perseverance and a positive attitude will take you farther than you ever thought possible.
If you learn to let go of those things you can’t control, master those issues you can control and enjoy the journey along the way, you will create a life of joy and peace. Despite the unexpected floods.