“Lack of power is my dilemma,” a common statement if you have had any experience with any of the Twelve Step programs. At the beginning of the road to recovery, the admission of one’s own powerlessness is the catalyst. As a recovering person myself, my admission came from sheer desperation from having found myself from complete spiritual and emotional bankruptcy. As well as, the physical loss of family, homes, and career. Needless to say, at the point that I returned to twelve step recovery, the admission of my own powerless came with ease. However, coming to understand the realm of my powerlessness took some time.
Last night I was in a discussion with one of my brothers about this very topic. And I realized how,”Lack of power is my dilemma”, is so profoundly befitting to anyone. Any of us can find ourselves struggling with life. And 99.9% of the time, our struggle comes from our attempt to have power or control over that which is beyond our control. I know for myself, anytime I find that I’m feeling that hopelessness, that frustration with the day or the moment, it is my need to try to fix or control what is going on around me. When I am overwhelmed with life, with others, because they are not doing things the way I ‘KNOW’ they should be done. I eventually come to the realization that I’m focusing on that which I have no power.
One of the best examples I know is being a parent. As a parent, we can find ourselves become completely frustrated when we can’t control our own kids. Especially, as they go from that ‘oh so cute, they’re crying because they either need to eat, sleep or poop’ phase to being the little ‘testing the limits, drop and pickup’ toddler phase. And as they continue to grow up and we continue to try and control, we find ourselves going from cuddling our babies to feeling hopeless over our teens. “Lack of power was our dilemma.”
Being parents, my wife and I are constantly telling our kids, “our hope for you as your parents is for you to become better than who we are.” Our kids range from first grade to high school. And learning that most of our own struggles with parenthood came from our need to try and control our kids, has been a long and sometimes hard path. But, as we began to shift our focus from control to simply guiding, our kids have taken on new patterns.
When we leave off the expectations of them doing what we feel is the right thing, simply because in our minds it is the right thing, duh! And we began to simply stay on top of them, as they try and do things their own way. And when their way works, we simply say ‘good job’. But when it doesn’t, we are right there, ready to show them a different way. We are not perfect at it yet, but when we stop focusing on control and begin focusing on guidance. Our kids find what works for them, and we find serenity in parenthood.
When we compare our insides to others outsides. When we find ourselves angry at politics, at traffic, at the rude lady that cuts us off at the checkout line because they are so into texting on their phone that they do not see that you were standing there quietly awaiting your turn. It is time to remind ourselves, “Lack of Power is My Dilemma”. Lack of power over other people, places and things. Begin working towards admitting our powerlessness over others. And simply begin to look at what we do have power over, how we treat each other. It’s not how we are treated in this world that gives us value. Self worth comes in how we treat others.
“Always aspire to inspire, before we expire!”