The Twelve Messages of Christmas
I have spent the better part of my adult life trying to make sure that nothing is wrong. At some point along the way, I got enough recovery to know it was okay if something wasn’t right with another person. I had that inward realization that we can’t change other people. However, I was still convinced that I could change myself. It makes sense, right? If you want to lose weight, you can. If you want to grow spiritually, you can. If you want to eat better, you can. Can’t you? Well, yes and no. As it turned out for me, there were things I could change and things I couldn’t. The real issue was knowing the difference and asking for help. That’s where I lost the “right-sized” vision, especially when it came to asking for help. To this day there is still a trembling when I know I am going to need to lean on someone. I have to pray my way through it, but I do it, thank God because we really do need each other!
I recall riding down the road one day in tears. I rang my father to talk. Thinking I could reason myself through the struggle and explain it away, I started telling him what was going on. He listened and after a few moments he said, “Tyler, you’re not okay and that’s okay.” At that I just sobbed. Maybe it was the first time I’d realized I don’t have to be okay all the time. Should I find myself in a new challenge or an old familiar pain, I don’t have to rush to fix it. I can actually pause and say, it’s okay, just as it is.
Now, when I feel the “that’s not okay. this is unacceptable to me and it must change now,” creeping in, I know, TIME TO PAUSE. It doesn’t have to be okay to be okay. God is with you. This too shall pass. Rest in it, as it is. This prayer is a daily one for me, feel free to use it, should it fit:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Sending you love wherever you are in the world, Tyler