Going through old files, I found this reflection poem from 2014. It feels even more fitting for today, especially living as I do in the "realm" of chronic illness. I cannot control how much energy I will have each day, and rarely can I take action that might have an influence in the world outside our home. But this morning I was reminded that I can still choose to love in all of my hours, and be grateful.
There are things we cannot control.
It is a long list. The weather, the seasons,
the coming of day and night.
Another person's joy and sorrow, or love and grief.
We cannot control anything
about another person, most of the time.
The things we cannot control
are more numerous than the things we can.
The economy. The price of milk.
The coming of storms or the blooming
of lady slippers.
The return of the hummingbirds,
or the death of poets.
If you are like me, you sometimes imagine
you have more power than you really have.
You try to control what you can,
and even what you cannot. You worry.
You want your children to be happy and fulfilled.
You want your parents to be healthy and content.
You want your partner to be a good match, and loving.
You may want the members of your community
to be enthusiastic and generous,
and your staff to be talented and never to move away.
Big things or small things, no matter.
There are long lists of things we cannot control.
We want for all children to be safe, and girls who are lost to come home again.
We want angry young men to work out at the gym
and never to buy large amounts of guns and ammunition.
We want politicians to be dedicated to the common good,
and news media to the truth.
We cannot control anything about another person,
most of the time.
We cannot control another person's joy and sorrow, loss and grief.
We cannot control the ways that joy and sorrow come into our own life.
But there are a few things we can control.
We can choose the values we want to follow in our own lives.
We can choose to speak up and act
in ways that share our values with the world.
We can choose to greet a stranger
and listen to a friend.
We can choose kindness. No matter what.
We can choose to love.
(and love ourselves too)
May you find the places of choice in your life,
and be at peace about all that is out of our control.
A very comforting reminder in this time of hatred and high drama. Thanks you.
Thanks John, that is how it felt to me too.