From the BlogMeet Ron

Chuck’s Corner

Heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act. 
–Sophocles
 
Growing into wholeness is a journey into greater responsibility for our lives. We have choices to make every day. Taking responsibility means choosing between the options we have and then accepting the consequences. Sometimes both choices are undesirable, but we have to choose anyway. Do I expect to be perfect in my choices? Do I demand that someone else take responsibility for me? Do I defiantly refuse to accept the options I have?
 
This program seems like a paradox- the First Step asks us to accept our powerlessness, then we are expected to go on and stop being passive in our lives. The Serenity Prayer speaks to us about this dilemma. We ask for the serenity to accept what we cannot change and the courage to change what we can. Fully admitting our powerlessness sheds a burden and frees us to go on from there, actively doing what we can.
 
If something is awaiting my action today, may I have the courage to move forward with it. Even small movement is progress.
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Allow for differences
 
He’s rational. He wants examples of the problem and wants to focus on and find a solution.
 
She wants to talk about how she feels.
 
He wants to sit in front of the television and click the remote control.
 
She wants to cuddle on the couch and look into his eyes.
 
He deals with his stress by playing basketball with his friends, tinkering with the car or going for a hike.
 
She wants to go to a movie, preferably one that makes her cry.
 
I spent much of my life thinking that men and women– and generally all people– should just be the same. It took me a long time to realize that while we have much in common with other people, we’re each unique.
 
It took me even longer to realize that the practical application of this meant I had to learn to allow for differences between the people I loved and myself.
 
Just because we have something in common with someone, and might even think we’re in love, doesn’t mean that each person is going to respond and be the same.
 
So often in our relationships, we try to get the other person to behave the way we want. This forcing of our will on them will ultimately become a great strain. It can also block love. When we’re trying to change someone else, we overlook his or her gifts. We don’t value the parts of the person that are different from us, because we’re too busy trying to change the person into someone else.
 
Allow for differences, but don’t just allow. Appreciate the differences. Value what each person has to offer and the gifts each person can bring.
 
Learn to say whatever, with a spark of amusement and curiosity, when someone isn’t the same as you. Try getting a kick out of the unique way each person approaches life.
 
God, help me understand the rich gifts that letting go of control will bring to my life.
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Don’t take storms personally
 
Somewhere out in the Pacific, a storm brewed and swirled and thrashed and died without ever touching the land. Three days later, under a clear blue sky, the storm surge reached the California coast near Los Angeles. The sea threw rocks at my house, and the waves stacked up and crashed down against the pilings of the foundation. Farther up the street, the ocean ate the back porch of two houses. All night the shoreline trembled and shook from the power of the sea.
 
The next morning the tide pulled back, the swells calmed, and the sky stayed blue. I walked down the beach, impressed at the way the ocean had littered it with huge chunks of driftwood and rocks. Then I walked back upstairs and drank my morning coffee.
 
Sometimes, storms aren’t about us.
 
Sometimes, friends or loved ones will attack us for no apparent reason. They’ll fuss, fume, and snap at us. When we ask them why, they’ll say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I had a bad day at work.”
 
But we still feel hurt and upset.
 
Hold people accountable for their behavior. Don’t let people treat you badly. But don’t take the storms in their lives personally. These storms may have nothing to do with you.
 
Seek shelter if necessary. Get away from curt friends until they have time to calm down; then approach when it’s safe. If the storm isn’t about you, there’s nothing you need to do. Would you stop the ocean waves by standing in the surf with your arms outstretched?
 
Say whatever. Let the storms blow through.
 
God, help me not to take the storms in the lives of my friends and loved ones too personally.
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