What Control Do I Have?
On the last day of school, Dylan was invited to go ziplining with a friend. The night before, I was still awake at midnight – panicked.
What if my son doesn’t keep his carabineer hooks latched? I thought. What if he wants to stand on one of those tiny ledges, 200 feet off the ground, just for one second? What if he is tapped just slightly during that nanosecond and falls to his death?
These are the thoughts I have at midnight.
I could see the headline: BOY, 13, FALLS TO DEATH FROM ZIPLINE. I could see the lifeless body of my teenaged redhead, sprawled in the dirt. And in spite of my anxiety challenge and all the faith I could muster, I couldn’t think of anything else.
I decided to read my daily affirmation from my nightstand book, Each Day a New Beginning, one day early. Technically, it was after midnight, so I wasn’t really cheating. Plus, I needed some wisdom desperately, or I wasn’t going to sleep at all.
The wisdom from the book went something like this: If you act like everything is going to be okay, maybe everything will be okay.
So I said another prayer. I reminded myself to give Dylan a kind reminder the next morning about not dancing around on any tiny ledges in the trees. Then I acted as if everything were going to be all right, and I went to sleep.
And of course, everything was all right. Dylan not only survived the zipline course, but he had a wonderful time. His friend had a wonderful time. The rain even stopped just before they embarked on their tree-climbing adventure (causing me to briefly worry about slipping, but not for long.)
Everyone enjoyed the day. And all I had to do was pretend that I thought everything would be fine.
I am really trying not to worry. I mean, what control do I have? NONE.
The only control I have is control over my attitude – which is a reflection of my thoughts – which are usually worries.
If I worry, my attitude is one of fear. If I act like everything is going to be okay, my attitude is one of confidence.
I wish I knew what is holding me back from maintaining an attitude of confidence. My life is absolutely glorious. I have been blessed with gifts – especially friends and family – beyond my wildest dreams. Yet, the fears keep me up at night, still – as if worrying will keep bad things from happening.
And as much as I know that isn’t true, I can’t train my thoughts to go in any other direction. But I am trying. God knows, I am still trying.