I am working through a challenge right now where I am being asked to trust the process and the universe – this is not easy! Anyone who has ever sought faith or belief in a higher power has been forced to confront this terrible requirement that is both incredibly easy – once you accept it. But also insanely challenging when you fight acceptance. We fight letting go because everything in our modern life encourages us to believe that we have control. Fortunately and unfortunately we have no control over the world, our circumstances, or the situations in which we live. However, we do control ourselves, our choices, and the way we show up in the world.
I feel it, deep within me, I am fighting this new development. I want to control the outcome and jump to the part where I chuckle over this resistance and use it as an anecdote for how enlightened and accepting I am… well, I’m not there yet!
So while I await for enlightenment and acceptance to arrive I am going to do the things I know how to do first. When problems get big I get small. I start doing the small works I never seem to have time to accomplish. I’m going to get to mending those items in the laundry basket – they’ve sat there for ages. I will get organized, all of those paper documents that need to be filed, saved, or shredded – the ever evolving pile of paper that seems to grow on any horizontal surface will be dealt with now. I am cleaning house. Actions that I can delegate will be passed on. Anything that can be taken off of my to-do list will be eliminated or automated. My various lists and plans will be combined and shortened.
While in the midst of this process I received an incredible gift. I called our dental insurance provider over a technical glitch. I was passed from one staffer to another. Even though I was feeling feisty I opened with a genuine greeting – if there is one thing we can learn from Southern women it is that we always say ‘hello,’ and greet one another before asking for anything, it’s just good manners. But once that was done, I answered honestly. I shared that I was frustrated and I told the agent why. She offered me a real solution, and gave me the option to take it. I said, “Yes!” She gave me less work to do and more time for everything else!
What a surprise and what a thrill, to be given the gift of time by a stranger. I could have played coy or put on some fake tone that customer service representatives see right through anyway but I didn’t. I showed up authentically, I told her where I was coming from and she genuinely helped. She saw my problem but saw also the larger picture. I did not need to waste any more time creating an account because the work I was trying to do would be done by my employer and it would have been a waste of my time. So thank the universe for that first customer service agent who forwarded me to someone who could help more than they could and God bless Bernice who gave me the gift of time and less work to do.
Challenges we face may not be solved right away, like that first customer service agent we may not have all the answers but we know someone who can help. And the way we transfer the call or get to that next level is to do the first level work. We show up to do the laundry folding, the file organization, the refilling of soap dispensers. The stuff that doesn’t really change the world but can really change our day. Show up and do that little stuff and the bigger stuff comes though. It gets done or as I’m folding socks an answer occurs to me. It’s just practical advice, when the problem seems too big, get small. Do the little things you know how to do and it will all come together. And even if it takes a hot minute for the answer to come, you will have mended socks, folded laundry, organized piles, and shredded documents – all of these small tasks accumulate to make a greater impact on the day, and your mood. Eventually those small steps become a Bernice moment, they clear the way so that you have more time, more ease, and less stress. Acceptance is a lot easier from that perspective.
What do you do when you feel a conflict of faith? Or find yourself trying to control the outcome? Where do you find balance and grace?