Whilst trying to fall asleep, I had this (fairly simple) realization which lead to a new meditation.
Essentially: “You cannot control the world, but you can control yourself.”
I’m not sure if it is solely because of my anxiety or my youth or whatever, but almost always I feel like the world and life are these chaotic series of events and opportunities and failures and people. It freaks me out. Instead of coping with the inevitability of the universe and God not always cooperating with me, I fight it. I manipulate people and situations. Imagine sitting in a room with furniture and people and food and everything else. All at once, I am acknowledging everything in the room and simultaneously trying to make sure everything is behaving or sitting in a way in which I agree with. If it does not, I either panic, get angry, remember past events that made me feel horrible, or something else fairly unreasonable.
But think of it: when people don’t see clearly, they get glasses; if people are overweight, they feel the need to lose pounds. We’re constantly told to fix that which isn’t perfect through new clothes, plastic surgery, makeup…
But you can’t change some things.
In a sermon today at church, the priest used an analogy of us being in sailboats. The wind doesn’t always go the direction we want to go, which makes it difficult to get to our destinations. We can’t always choose where we’re headed. God has different plans and leads us in different directions. We just need to adjust the sails accordingly.
But it’s hard.
The good news is: you have the power to choose your own actions. You choose to be kind and loving and generous and forgiving. Stop victimizing yourself and saying the world is out to get you. The world has a plan and so does God. It’s chaotic and messy sometimes, but at least you get to be a good person amidst it all.
Go with the wind, even if it’s not what you were expecting. It’s not something you can change, so might as well accept it.