I have often heard the saying “Let go and let God” and I’ve never really understood what it meant. I mean, I understand the words, but the concept didn’t ever really make sense to me. Today as I was cleaning my kitchen I got this email from the leader of my al-anon group with today’s thought.
A bread crumb. See, God speaks to me in hints or puzzle pieces and I have to figure out what He is trying to get across to me.
Yesterday when I went to therapy my therapist told me to think about what the Holy Spirit was asking of me and try to hear Him. Honestly, whenever I do those exercises I feel like a weirdo because I don’t think that I hear anything. Talking to God is weird, that I know for sure. Well, the message (if you wanna call it that) was for me to be still and not do anything. Now, I’m a lazy person, so whenever I am told to not do things, I’m down for it. I’ve been working on my lack of motivation to do anything so “don’t do anything” really made no sense to me. I’ve been trying to figure it out.
Let me just give you a little background. I was raised by a single mother. My mom is Hispanic and the oldest of 11 children. She was responsible for a lot of things starting at a very young age and my grandmother had her own issues from her childhood that influenced her parenting. It was a different time and there was not as much help with these issues back then in the Hispanic community, especially the migrant Hispanic community. My mom grew up thinking that cleaning was the utmost good. Being clean and having a clean house was the goal of every single day for her. First came work and then came cooking and cleaning. My mom will clean her house even if she is half dying. She doesn’t take naps and she doesn’t let anyone else take them in her presence. Being an only child, I was the only one around to hear her philosophy on life which was: work, clean and cook. Joy, happiness and dreaming are things that lazy people do. I was also the only one to take the heat for the “pig sty” that I lived in. No matter what, I was never clean or tidy enough for her. I was lazy because I read books and reading meant that you weren’t working. As awful as those things were, the good thing is that I have never been scared to work. I began working when I was 16 and until I married my second husband, I always worked. I worked doubles and did whatever I had to in order to make sure that my kids where always taken care of. It also taught me not to depend on anyone else and to be able to survive anything. My mom taught me all of those things by being strong. Bat shit crazy and strong is a common trait among the women in my family. It’s our own special thing. I have plenty of both.
What I realized this morning after reading that email, is that I am always trying to fix things. I am a “fixer” aka codependent. I take responsibility for things that I am not responsible for and I try to fix them. I take on people that I’m not responsible for and convince myself that I am at fault for whatever is wrong with them. I take responsibility for other people’s choices and my choices and I feel like everything depends on me. I feel like I have to make the right choices so that other people will make the right choices so everything will be ok and if they aren’t ok, it’s because of something that I did. I also create chaos and then work to the point of exhaustion to try and fix it. If I am not creating chaos then I’m creating ideals that are unrealistic. My guess is that it all comes from me not ever using my gift to write until recently, but who knows what it is; all I know is that I am always fixing which is why I am always tired. It’s also why I’m always fighting.
What makes me uncomfortable is being ok with myself just as I am. Throughout my entire life I have had people tell me what is wrong with me and sometimes for good reason because I was doing some really stupid things! I have always, and I mean always, been in search of my next issue and working to change it. I never really thought that I would become Catholic and change my life that way, but when I did find Christ it was like having a list of things of all the things that are wrong with me handed to me. It was comforting in a way. But that is not what Catholicism is all about. At the core of our faith in the fact that God loves us and it’s His Grace that changes us and makes us holy, we can not work for His Grace. We can only make the choice to hand our lives over to Him and do love Him.
That freaks me out. I’ve been wrestling with Him all day about it trying to make Him understand that I really have a lot of issues that I need to work out and things need to be decided and He keeps telling me to just be still and do nothing. Stop fixing and just trust Him.
Do I have what it take to let go of my plans and ideas and trust God? To let go of my fears and my dreams? To let go of thinking that I’m a horrible person who needs to fix myself? Am I humble enough to realize that I cannot fix myself no matter how hard I try? To let go of fixing other people to fit in my ideal life?Am I strong enough to actually be still and put my life in His hands? God, I hope so.