Friday, July 1, 2011

Control Freak, Really?

I spoke with my dad a few days ago about my dream.  I explained my feelings. 

"I just don't want to start over!  I want the peace I felt before."

He said he had some thoughts about that.

"You need to stop being such a control freak."  (Ha, only my dad would dare say that to me.  And I loved his honesty.  It was relieving.  I don't really think of myself as a control freak.  So I needed to hear it.)

"The times you do feel in control are just an illusion anyways.  It can all change in a second.  You are never the one in control.  God is."

Then I was reading a talk from the last General Conference.  On Sunday, it was the topic for our Relief Society lesson and I have been trying to ponder it since. 

The talk is titled, "More Than Conquerors Through Him that Loved Us" and I was thinking about a certain paragraph very seriously.

"At times it may seem that our trials are focused on areas of our lives and parts of our souls with which we seem least able to cope.  Since personal growth is an intended outcome of these challenges, it should come as no surprise that the trials can be very personal-- almost laser guided to our particular needs or weaknesses."

I didn't like this paragraph.  Not because it was too painful to read because I could relate, but because I didn't know what it was talking about. 

I turned to another person who might tell me what I needed to hear.

I read the paragraph to my WH (wonderful husband) and I asked,

"What weakness is it lasering in on?"  I knew that my trial felt painful.  Very painful.  But it was like pushing through a layer of gauze when I was trying to figure out exactly why.

WH looked at me like maybe it was a trick.  Or maybe I had an ulterior motive for asking.  Ha.  Poor man.  He needed some convincing.  I tried honest humility.  In as sincere of a tone as I could muster in my embarrassment I said,

"I know I look stupid and blind.  But I am.  You are on the outside looking in and it is always easy to say-- Duh I know EXACTLY why you are going through this- when you are on the outside looking in.  I really have no idea which of my many weaknesses this trial is zeroing in on.  Tell me what you think."

I was so relieved when he looked like he was thinking seriously about my question.  (What?  I can do humble...;)

What he said came as a complete surprise.  Only to me.  But still.  I had to process it for the whole morning, pretty much, before it made any sense at all.

He said I had a hard time excepting help.  Like I had a, "I can do it ALL BY MYSELF THANKYOUVERYMUCH complex."  (Excuse me?) "That may be what your dad is talking about when he calls you a control freak."

I felt plenty of defensiveness after he said this so I knew he must be spot on.  I held very still and closed my eyes as I tried to see what he was saying. 

Well, I do like to do things on my own.

"I do HATE getting served.  It is the worst feeling."  I said with honesty.

He looked at me like..... Hello?  Can't you see the obvious???  Even though he didn't say it cause he's too much of a gentleman.

I took a deep breath and said,  "Will you tell me why that is a bad thing please."

And he did.  Sweet man.  He was very kind.  He asked me about a recent night when some friends came over to help me finish painting my living room.  ( It was taking forever because of a long stretch of feeling sick)

"Ugh I HATED that night!  I was so embarrassed that that many women showed up without even discussing it with one another.  How pathetic am I that is was that obvious I had bitten off more than I could chew."

WH said, "Tell me who was there."

I named them.

WH then went through, one by one, telling me of how I have quietly served each one of those women.  He said, "This is their turn.  All the warm fuzzies you felt in serving them, they get to feel them now serving you."

I said I didn't even know how to act when others served me. 

WH jokingly said, "Have an attitude of gratitude.  Get a check up from the neck up."

Ha, I thought that was awesome.  And inspired.  I immediately took notes in my journal. 

Attitude of gratitude.  I thought back on times I have tried to help another person in need.  The best times for me was when that person seemed to really need what I had given.  That is always my only hope in serving.  That I get it  right and give them what they felt they needed most in their time of suffering.

The times I felt for sure I had it right was when they said to me, "Thank you so much.  That was exactly what I needed." (I have a thick skull)

It wouldn't hurt to say that when others served me.  To swallow my pride and admit--

I can't do it all myself right now.  Thank you for helping me.

Hmmm... a lot to ponder.  At least now I know what to say when others help me.

Do you feel so embarrassed when others help you that you wish you could just melt into the floor?  Is it just me?

Thanks for sticking around for that novel. 


it's just lisa said...

wow. you are so lucky to have a great dad and husband to talk to!

i really liked that quote... it's got me thinking. i have to admit that this summer has been a very hard one for me too. i worry nonstop that my kids are not getting enough summer fun... lots to think about.

i hope you are feeling well again soon!

Shellee said...

I loved that little journey into your thoughts. I am almost forty and it has only been these last several years that I have really come to terms with my body's limitations (I used to be so strong I COULD do it all, but along with deteriorating strength has come deteriorating nerves and ability to cope as well...). It has only been these last few years that I have really seen the importance of the community part of the gospel, and how important it is that we DO involve ourselves in the service of others so that we can function as a healthy community body, becoming one as He would have us do. I have had to accept help more than ever before, and it is such a testimony of love. As I have accepted service, I have seen the power of the workings of the spirit in others. I have seen your amazing capacity to be such a strong tool for our heavenly father. He loves you very much and wants you to understand that in your times of need He is attentive through His people of you. Simply put, LOVE being loved. It is the food and fuel your spirit needs so that you can continue on to accomplish greater tasks for our heavenly father.