We humans have an uncanny ability. Somehow, we try to control too much. At the same time, we avoid taking responsibility for what we can control. We blame others when our responsibilities aren’t met while we try desperately to adopt the responsibilities of others.
Ownership is an important part of life. Taking responsibility for what is truly ours. So is empowerment, the ability to let go of things that are not ours to carry.
Walking the Tightrope
Innately, we recognize there is a balance to be found. There are things out of our control and things within them. An improper treatment of the balance leads to victim mentality and co-dependency. But a healthy understanding allows us to make our choices with confidence and let go of the things that do not belong to us.
If we lean too far one way or the other, it can be dizzying and make us feel weightless. It can result in frustration, confusion and danger.
But walking the tightrope properly allows us to be the people we are meant to be within the community we are meant to serve. None of us is inadequate in and of ourselves. But none are at their best in the absence of community.
To be engaged in healthy relationships, we must be able to discern what belongs to us and what does not.
The Three Things
We can only control three things in this world. Our attitude/perspective, our choices, and whom we trust. That’s it. Three things for just one person out of the billions on this planet.
By naming these three things and focusing our attention, we can free ourselves from wasting so much time trying to manipulate all of the factors, people, and circumstances that will stubbornly refuse our efforts to control them.
There is a freedom that comes in letting go. We shackle ourselves to the need to control everything. The three things we can control focus us in, setting boundaries to establish what is me and what is not me. These boundaries result in the freedom to do and be who we are, not to mention interact with the world around us, without the false weight of stolen responsibilities.
In the same vein, taking ownership of these three things will feed the longing inside of us to participate and take meaningful action. It’s not that we should do nothing. There is danger on that side of the spectrum too. We should do what we are meant to do. Nothing less and nothing more.