And Then I Heard What the Judge Said.

I have some control issues. By now, I am well aware that I need to do something about them – or watch my kids grow up to be just like me. After many years of randomly wondering what to do, I said a little prayer. Just a tiny little prayer, that I would be able to do something to change.

Since that time, I’ve been reading a book called, Keep Your Love On, which popped up as a church seminar right after I said my prayer. The book talks about fear and powerlessness and all the things that cause control issues – and I am absorbing it quite nicely.

I have also been doing Kirk Martin’s anxiety challenge. Knowing that control comes from fear has helped me to realize that calming my anxiety keeps me from demanding control. It’s helped me, too.

But it was a stunningly awkward source that provided my latest revelation: Judge Lynn Toler, on Divorce Court.

Sometimes when I eat lunch, I plop myself in front of the television and watch whatever court show happens to be playing at the moment. Those litigants always make me feel better about myself. And I don’t actually care what happens to them, so I can turn off the TV midway through and go back to my brilliant life.

So I didn’t see the court case. I just heard the guy talking about his angry wife. And then I heard what the judge said. If I could find a YouTube video of it, I would be able to repeat it verbatim – and I would watch it every day until I had it memorized.

Unfortunately, I can’t find it, so I have no idea what she said exactly. My quotes may be completely wrong.

But I heard, “You have to deal with your fear and that will take care of your anger.”

I heard, “You are strong enough to beat your fear.”

She said, “For awhile, I kept a list of my worries. I drew a line down the middle. On one side, I wrote what I was worried about, and on the other side I wrote what really happened. And when I read it back at the end of the week, I felt pretty stupid.”

I heard, “Don’t let something that happened 20 years ago control what you do today.”

And I heard, “When you get up in the morning, say to yourself that just for one day, whatever he does to upset you, you will just take a step back and let it be.”

I may not have the YouTube video. I probably won’t even write a letter to ol’ Lynn Toler thanking her for her words of wisdom. But at least now, I have written down what I heard.

And I have a sensible plan with tons of action steps to help me take charge of my life – so that I can finally stop trying to control everyone else’s.


  1. Kirsten says:

    Definitely a breakthrough for me… As long as I keep re-reading that blog entry, I will (hopefully) benefit every day from what I learned in one five-minute lecture!

  2. Lorrie says:

    do you hear me clapping? BRAVO. That sounds like a breakthrough for you & the rest of your wonderful family

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