Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week Four of Writing My Book: Perfect Dream, Imperfect Life

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Today, I met with my Emmaus reunion group.  This is  a special group of women that I have been associated with for over ten years.  We began meeting twice a month or so following a spiritual growth weekend to support each other, counsel and challenge each other in our Christian walk.  It has been an amazing journey with significant celebrations and tragedies.  One of our original members lost her battle with cancer several years ago and we've had a few women who have attended for a period of time and then left, but most of the current members have been in the group since it's beginning.  Each time we meet we share what has been going on with us since the last meeting.  Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry, we always lift each other up.

As the group interacted today, I related my latest life lesson.  It has been an epiphany of sorts that has come out of a year of turmoil and change.  It is a simple lesson.  It is an obvious lesson.  It is even an old life lesson.  It is a lesson that as a counselor, I often point out to others on a regular basis.  Somehow though I'd never quite gotten the message myself.  Here's the lesson:  The only person you truly have control over is yourself.  And sometimes the control you have over your own life is a challenge as well.

I think this is a particularly difficult lesson for women to learn as relates to our families.  I say that because what each member of my group talks about most of the time is struggles within their families.  Of course sometimes we discuss co-workers and careers or even church politics but in the end it is usually somehow related to our family and our role as mother, daughter, wife or sibling.  We are often asking the group, "Am I doing the right thing?  Am I approaching this with the right mindset?... the right behavior?"  We each personally tend to judge our actions based on the behavior of the person we are hoping to influence.  The group often helps us to have a different perception, to take a different path.  The only person you truly have control over is yourself.

You might wonder what this has to do with the progress I am making on my book.  Actually a lot.  As I mentioned two weeks ago, I am writing the book to share my story and help other women on their journey to maximizing their gifts.  I hope that we can all live a good story.  But part of doing that for me is recognizing that although my story is interwoven with the lives of my family, at the end of the day the only person I am living my story for is me.  If I focus on trying to create a perfect dream which for me and many women centers around a perfect family life, I am  trying to control someone else's life and I am going to be disappointed every time.  The only person you truly have control over is yourself.  The only person who can live my good story is me.

What about you? Are you living a good story?

Progress on book:
pages:  98
words:  16, 935


  1. Enjoyed your post, it's nice to have a support group. I kind of like the idea of having a group of friends I can discuss my stories with. I am living my story and writing it too but not as planned and organized as you are.

  2. Yes, I'm living my story, Lynne. It took awhile for me, too, to realize that I'm the only person I have control over, and this admission came as such a gift!
    Glad you get and give support and encouragement in your Emmaus group, too. :)
    Blessings to you!

  3. I love the message of this post. It's so true...the only one that we have any power over is ourselves...We can't change others but we can transform our own lives, sometimes sparking to inspire others towards certain endeavors, but that should never really be the goal.

  4. Hi, Lynn! ~

    WoW! Worth repeating over and over again until we truly get it: "The only person you truly have control over is yourself." You got that right, Sister!

    In the last few decades I have learned this lesson in a million different ways! I am honestly at the point in my life where it is such a relief to know with all that I am that I don't control anybody but myself. Not only will we be happier when we accept this Truth, but the world will be a more joyful and peaceful place for EVERYONE!

    And YES, I'm living an AMAZING story -- thanks for asking ;-)

  5. As always, such good insight, Linda. I must admit there are many moments when it is a relief to know that I am not responsible for or in control of others. thanks!

  6. Amen sister!
    I AM living the story.
    Without the story there is no glory,so
    Keep telling it!