Monday, July 30, 2007


"Beggars can't be choosers." One of my core beliefs. I crashed head-on into this false superstition in the past couple of weeks. It has been distressing to say the least.

The electricity has gone on and off, the water has gone on and off, I have been intermittently trapped in the house by construction equipment, relatives arrived and stayed longer than anticipated, I couldn't fix an innocent dog's awful life, and then we began playing games with a home owner and real estate agent. I have felt powerless for almost a month. I am a controller and hate to be manipulated by events or people. I am being taught to give up control.

I am sensitive about my boundaries. After suffering no boundaries for years at a time, I now tend to do the opposite and build walls. I am very conscious of my rights. No one dare attempt to "put one over on me." Selling real estate is all about putting one over on someone. I have been a basket case about this house and the proposed six foot fence. I did not sleep at all for two nights. I perseverated about perceived wrongs being done to me. I talked about potential problems with the house sale non-stop. I created scenarios in my mind in which I told all an sundry just what they could do with their houses and construction equipment. I stole the dog and road off into the sunset. I dreamed about laying down the law to everyone and then stomping out with head held high. I have power problems. And I do not mean electricity. In my soul I still believe I am powerless. To counter this feeling I have had to always come out on top. (Yes Mark has threatened to dump me a couple of times.) I have no give and take. I am either an absolute winner or an abject loser. Considering my beggar belief I am surprised how often I win. But at a great cost. Imagine forcing situations and people to your will while at the core believing you should lose. Pain. And what have I been doing to stop the pain? Quarts of ice cream in the past few days. Only it isn't working.

I go to great lengths to avoid facing myself and my pain. But the only way out is through. So I have prayed and asked to be given the grace to turn and face my troubles. I am not dead but it isn't any fun. And it isn't over. I can't/won't save the dog. She is back and the situation is the same. No one can/will do anything and I am not going to steal her. So I drive past her tied up under the tree and my heart breaks daily. The six foot fence is going up. The owner wants the fence and we live with it or back out of the deal. I want the house. I will make peace with the fence. I rent this house. The water and the electricity are out of my hands. The Water Works will eventually be done and water will again be constant. Former and current owner of this house came over. There is a short somewhere in the house which can't be located. Former owner said she just got used to doing her laundry between 4 and 6pm. (Times when there is continual power in the laundry room.) And so will I.

I have wasted a huge amount of energy this month attempting to fix unfixable things. I have been wild in my mind. And sugar refused to cure me. A blessing of sorts. I am not a beggar or with out power. I just never learned how to use the power I do have. First and foremost I was not taught how to view my feelings with choice. I may not have choice in an initial emotional reaction but very soon there after I can choose how I am going to feel. This is power. It is hard to learn at 50. I can choose how I am going to react to situations and people. I always thought the Serenity Prayer was sappy. The alcoholics' Pledge of Allegiance if you will, and having nothing to do with me. I am choosing to change my mind about it. I have been praying for wisdom and courage. I do not want to joust at windmills or spend days scaling molehills. I want to hand my worries over to God and accept peace of mind.

So...I am back to singing hymns real loud to stop the perseverating thoughts. I have forgiven myself for being too controlling, again. I choose to believe God loves me and has good things planned for my life. I have prayed about the dog and the fence and the house. I have done what I know to do. I choose to believe God is directing my life. When I get it all balled up the Great I Am can with ease unravel it. I guess there-in is the real power. Amen

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh, a daily practical guide to leading a Christian life. More practical than I have experienced in many a pew. I am very familiar with jousting at windmills, but loved the 'scaling molehills' comment. I am wondering right now how many molehills I have attempted to 'lay down' my life on that frankly didn't amount to the perverbial hill of beans. I buy practical cars because I profess to not wanting to be a power-sucking glutton, taking more than my share. Any when I think of the times I have 'used/abused the power' I had, each time the result was poor to say the least. All this power discussion and what we really want is to 'come home'.
Write on! I read daily to keep my link to you! K

Helen said...

Very thought-provoking for me...I never really thought about it, but I think my need for control is about that powerless feeling too...and eating is somethiing I do have power over...either way.

Glad you have resolved to take deep breaths and learn to live with the fence...your new place sounds beautiful. :-)

Andrea K said...

I deal with control, power and boundaries all the time. It's especially true this summer as I feel utterly out of control and out of my routines with everyone in my house and constant building/remodeling going on. It's almost enough to drive me to drugs -- oh yeah, I guess it WAS!

I can really relate to the Serenity Prayer, too. I need to learn when to walk away from a problem or a toxic situation when the only possible result of staying involved is going to be pain and stress.

And sometimes I have to learn to just accept things as they are, even if it means being powerless or out of control. That's pretty tough some days.

Vickie said...

You can plant a fabulous garden against the fence. I can’t think of what they are called – but there are bushes/shrubs that you trim so that they are flat against the fence and shaped like a menorah (sort of). Also brackets hanging off fence posts for hanging baskets. I had a book from the library on long skinny gardens that are built against walls and fences to make lemonade out of an eye sore and they were fabulous. Can you mandate that your side of the fence is the “right side” and that it not be built “inside out”? Or that it be a fence that looks the same on both sides? You could string Japanese lanterns (electric kind) along it also. Can you ask for them to put electric hookup when they build it? We have a long skinny back yard and have two large arch ways – one at each end – and a path of grass between the two long skinny beds – I would actually have liked a fence – or a brick wall – after reading the book from the library – long ago – no idea of title – but you’ll have a great time looking for ideas – I bet.