Life feels better when I move with it, instead of making it move with me.
Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.
Change surrounds us. It lies within us, too. The trees in the yard have changed. They've grown taller. Their leaves die and scatter on the ground in the fall. We don't resemble our baby pictures much anymore, either. Like trees, we've grown up. As babies, we couldn't walk. But we learned to run, ride bikes, and go out alone to movies and parties. Some changes we don't notice while they're going on. The snow melts; the birds fly south; our hair grows a little every day. Other changes startle us. A best friend moves away. Perhaps a favorite grandparent dies. These changes we wish hadn't happened, and we have to remember that change is as natural as breathing. We can't keep it from happening, but we can trust that change never means to harm us. It's a sign we're growing up.
I Tied Myself Into Knots - With a Shoelace
I realize now how quickly I can revert to my old thinking—if I’m not vigilant. One morning as I went out to get the newspaper, I saw a dirty shoelace lying on the walkway. I automatically assumed that one of my grown children, who live with me, had dropped it as they came in.
I looked at it and left it there. “That’s not mine to pick up,” I said to myself. “I already do enough around here.”
Days passed, and I kept stepping over that dirty shoelace. Surely, someone would pick it up. My husband and two children go out that front door every day, taking that same path. My resentment grew as I thought about how inconsiderate they were—too lazy to pick up a shoelace. Why do I have to be the one to do everything?
I was getting angrier by the day. Finally, I bent over and picked up that dirty shoelace. As I held the weightless item in my hand, it no longer seemed such an obstacle. I started to smile, and then a little laughter followed. Where was my program? How did I expect someone to do something without asking? Old behaviors were creeping back. “How Important Is It?”
I could have picked up that shoelace on day one and saved myself a battle in my head. But, I chose to hang on to it. How many times in my dealings with the alcoholic did I choose to hang on to it? Who was hurt the most? Me! I lost my serenity over something so trivial.
I carry that shoelace as a bookmark in my “One Day At A Time” (B-6) to be my constant reminder to let go of the small stuff, and to ask for help when I need it. I don’t need to be the martyr.
I thank my Higher Power for putting these little reminders in my life and ask Him to guide me in my everyday trials, no matter how big or how small.
By Patti B., Ohio July, 2011
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
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