I remember the moment a female judge told me that what my ex did with our kids when they were not with me was none of my business.
In that moment, you could have knocked me off my feet with a feather.
I recall my mind buzzing like I a nest of bees had crawled into my ears. What the hell was this crazy lady saying to me right now? I could not grasp the idea that I had ZERO control over how my ex treated my kids when they were not with me, nor, according to this judge, should I even care. It was simply NONE of my business according to her, unless he was inducing some type of physical harm.
Although I wanted the judge to consider the way my ex spoke to the children; how he triangulated, played the poor guy and consistently did all he could to get our children to worry more about him than he worried about them, she refused to budge. Unless the ex was physically hurting the kids, what happened when they were in his care was none of my business, so said the law.
My entire life was about being able to control things that were taking place in my environment, and here, at the feet of this judge, I was being told to KNOCK IT OFF!
In so uncertain terms I was being told to get over thinking I could control her, the court, or my ex. There was no way any of my rationalizations were going to change her mind. What he did with the kids on his time was his business, not mine, unless of course some physical atrocity was taking place the court could consider tangible.
If I have learned anything on the road to recovery, it is to let go rather than hold on. Holding on to things, people, and beliefs that you think you can control, but in actuality you cannot, just leaves a bunch of unnecessary skid marks on our spiritual bodies.
Feeling in control helped me avoid a haunting feeling of unsafety that lived with me my entire life. Taking care of people, anticipating their needs, obsessing about house-cleaning, and worrying about what might happen next, distracted me from the emotional work I absolutely needed to do. Although I felt emotionally and psychologically lost when this judge stripped me of the belief that I could, should and even had a right to control what I could not, in hindsight, I understand just how valuable the lesson she was teaching me really was.
In life, we can control no one and no thing but the self. The more we clearly identify our stuff from other people’s stuff, the less complicated our lives.
Seek to control no one—and no thing that is not within your right to control and I promise you, your life will be much less chaotic and far more satisfying.
Letting go is not for the faint of heart. When we let go, we are forced to face the self.
Today, do what you can to clearly identify people, circumstances, or things you hoped you could control but you are learning you cannot control. How can this help you live a more abundant life?
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