Fun fact. Human beings are multi-faceted creatures. We can be two (or more) things at once. Even if they are contradictory! It's mind boggling for sure (sarcasm). Though it's a really intense realization when you finally realize you yourself are that way!
I am a very "even keel" person as most people have told me. However there are some areas of my life where I am very far from even keel.
There are some areas, prior to this past month, where I would become extremely controlling. Not controlling of other people per se. But instead I would be extremely emotionally tied to helping others navigate to the outcomes I thought were best. Which is unhealthy on all levels... My control would fall into the place where my stress and anxiety would hit the roof when someone I cared deeply about would fall into bad situations.
It would stress me to the point of rapid and dramatic weight loss, anxiety attacks, and many other struggles. All because I was so intensely connected to the other persons outcomes. It was a measure of control. I didn't control the other person, but my lack of perceived control over the outcome would cause me to have serious emotional issues!
As I have been working through that with the help of my best friend, my son and my accountability I realized something this morning. My intense struggles were indeed control issues. But it was deeper than that. The control issues were me taking things out of God's hands and taking responsibility for them myself.
I was taking things out of God's control and making them my responsibility
As you can imagine, this is super toxic! And lacking in a lot of faith!
Now don't get me wrong. It all comes from a normal and healthy feelings of care and concern for people that I love most.
However I should not be destroyed with anxiety when other people make choices in their own lives. Sure there is a minor exception when say your child is making seriously bad decisions. But even then you should not be THAT emotionally connected and effected by someone else's life choices!
But yet there I was... It was a dormant emotional problem I had for a decade... well my entire life really... It just hadn't been triggered in forever because I never allowed anyone to be that close to my heart. But things change, we start to open up and feel things again with the Lord's help. I finally allowed someone ALL the way into my heart again. And as life events unfolded my dormant problem surfaced like a volcanic eruption.
But thanks be to God for his work in my life! Because this time it didn't go the way it had always gone before. I was more equipped with the tools to fight my way through it this time. And more importantly I had a genuine support system around me (my best friend, my son, my friend and accountability, and some more good friends) of people who wouldn't and didn't give up on me as I fought this dire internal battle.
As I fight through the final death throws of my dysfunction today I realize how easy it is to be multi-faceted. I can be even keel, while also being in a 2 week long stream of panic attack.
I can be the most relaxed person around, but also struggle with controlling things.
So the lesson I am embracing (not learning) this week is this:
I can care about the people I love without taking responsibility for their choices
Perhaps this sounds weird to you. If so congrats you don't have my problem!
Perhaps this... has a pang of holy spirit hitting you as you read it. If so, seek God to see why. Perhaps it's not the same as mine. But perhaps it's something similar...