After a week or 2 of disappointing events, and a sucky work week, I was destined to a restless and worrisome night – replaying a conversation with a coworker over and over. This morning when I jumped in my car for an eye appointment, This Talk by Wendy Watson was playing on the radio.
I heard the words “Constraining Beliefs”.
In my despairing state of mind, I resorted back to my default thinking that has probably held me back my entire life.
If I had an argument or misunderstanding with someone, I would think “If ONLY they would DO this- Then I “could” feel this way…”
If I had trouble at work, my default Constraining Belief was: “I’ll just quit then”.
If someone rejected me or stabbed me in the back, my Constraining Belief said.”I will never talk to them again”.
Wendy uses examples of “I’m just fine, or I can’t change”. These beliefs only push us further behind.
As I see it, it makes things worse than what the original problem was anyway. As my mama would say “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face”. I never knew what that meant into a few years ago.
This talk was in 1998, yet everything she says is timeless. Most of our…” distress flows from wanting to have connections with each other that just aren’t happening”.
That’s so true.
We want to feel valued.
We want to feel appreciated.
We want to feel loved.
We want hope.
Yet what are WE changing to make that happen within ourselves?
In today’s climate, we think if only we engage in one more argument, if we post one more meme, surely everyone will come around to MY WAY of thinking….
“You cannot make someone change his/her mind. But you can invite and entice, offer and persuade, and then respect what he/she chooses to do……
Have you already got clues about what someone is longing to hear from you? What would need to be different for you to offer those words—honestly, and from your heart?” Wendy states in her talk.
As I pulled into the eye doctor, my eyes stinging with tears…..
I realized how my expectations of others were holding me back from the true change that I desire.
With my family, who I love dearly, more than anything, my coworkers who get the very last ounce of energy I have, and with my intense search for answers to my son’s addiction, my small voice had all but disappeared, causing those other “Voices that make YOUR voice a stilled, small voice….”
What things can • I Do• differently– instead of expecting everyone else to Change?
One of my favorite religious leaders, Thomas S. Monson said this:
“To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility.-Thomas S. Monson
He once shook hands with my now addicted son and said “hey! I want a mission outta you boy”. 🔘💙🔘
I can’t help but think that his “mission” was to help others who would never have met anyone like him. And his mission is not over- obviously.
So I take great comfort in his words, especially as I’m going through this journey of mourning my addicted son while he is still alive.
In the depths of despair, the psalmist cried out to God. Despair makes us feel isolated and distant from God, but this is precisely when we need God most. Despair over sin should not lead to self-pity, causing us to think more about ourselves than God. Instead, it should lead to confession and then to God’s mercy, forgiveness, and redemption. When we feel overwhelmed by problems, feeling sorry for ourselves will only increase feelings of hopelessness; but crying out to God turns our attention to the only one who can really help.
“Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice; let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” Psalms 130:1-2.