January 24, 2014

Center Of The Universe

Have you ever wondered where the geographical center of the universe is?  Well for a time, I believed it was me.  

It wasn't because I felt that I was more important or better than anyone else, I just believed I was responsible for "fixing" everything that was wrong in the world.  If I heard someone was having a problem, it became MY problem. If someone was feeling an unpleasant emotion, it must be because of something I'd done or didn't do.  I can tell you for certain, life really seemed broken back then.

Life will always seem broken when we try to own and fix situations that do not belong to us.  There is nothing more discouraging than taking responsibility for things over which we have no control.

"Other people" is a great example of something over which we have no control.  We can love them, want the best for them, be a good example, put in our two cents and be there to listen and support them.  That's pretty much where it ends.  We can't, nor should we try, to fix them or their problems.  I learned this the hard way.  When we try to "fix it," we're sending the message that they are broken and we have no confidence in their ability to handle the situation themselves.  That, in turn, can lead to a cycle of dependency and insecurity that in no way leaves them better than we found them.

Is it hard to stand by and watch as someone, especially someone we love, struggles?  Absolutely.  But the struggle will bring them strength as they overcome it on their own.

I, like all of you, have been through some tough situations (none of them that I would have chosen for myself) and I'm still standing. Were there times I doubted myself? Constantly.  Did I believe in the beginning that I had what it took to get through it?  Not on your life.

I did however, find inside myself a deep well of strength and tenacity I might never have discovered any other way.  While I wouldn't wish any of those challenges on someone else, I will also try my best (I'm still in recovery) not to deny them the gift of resiliency that those struggles brought me.

Challenges bring with them experience.  Experience is a springboard from which we can bounce back higher and better than before.  Like holding a beach ball under water, the lower we sink, the greater the momentum for our triumphant reemergence.

Have a great day!

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