I Can’t Control the “We”, Just the “Me”

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Who wants ANOTHER blog post about all the crap going on in the world?!?

…no one? COOL I’M WRITING IT ANYWAYS.

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It feels a bit ironic, but really I’m looking at this as a form of accountability. As you soon will see if you stick with me to the end of this post, I’m not here to change your opinion. I’m not here to offer the end-all-be-all solution to the world’s excruciating problems. I’m just sharing one of the things I am vowing to do. The only thing I know I actually CAN control: myself.

The internet is the WORST, guys. We are so mean! I truly don’t understand why we think that if we berate each other and try to bully people over to our side of the fence that we will succeed.  If anything I think it just pushes the person you are trying so desperately to control even further out of your reach. Not sure when we’re all going to realize that and alter our tactics.

But here’s what I do know: We can’t control a lot of things.

We can’t control evil people and the destructive things they do.

We can’t control the government and the decisions they make or the things they say.

We can’t control the opinions and emotions of others.

We can’t stop people from doing what they want to do, thinking what they want to think, saying what they want to say.

We can only control ourselves.

WUUUUUT?! You mean.. even if I get super angry, yell at you from behind my keyboard, call you names, belittle your opinions, you’re STILL going to think what you want to think and have your own opinions?!?

…yup.

So, what does it look like to take ownership and control over the only thing we actually have ownership and control over? I think it starts with looking inwardly. With wrapping our stubborn arms and holding tight to the slipperiest of concepts: self-awareness.

Obviously this is easier said than done. I myself am a new resident in the world of self-awareness. I lived the majority of my life like a blindfolded toddler running with scissors. I just kept hurting people and eventually hurting myself.

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But here’s the beauty of it: there’s grace and there’s hope and none of us are too far gone.

Like I said, I don’t have the answers to all of the racism, violence, terrorism and other heavy issues our country is sinking in. But I do know that I have control over my heart, mind and actions. What would it look like if we all, just for a second, put down our pitchforks, took a deep breath, stood in front of a mirror and asked,

“What do I need to change?”

Or, “What kind of person am I?”

Or, “What kind of evil am I, myself, capable of and what am I going to do to stop it?”

I know that it is not as simple as this and that yes, there are many things that can physically be done, so in no way am I encouraging passivity (to those who had their keyboards ready for battle, sorry to disappoint you 😉 )  I am just saying that the world would look quite different if we all took a second to change ourselves before focusing solely on changing others. If we all looked inwardly and vowed to take Gandhi’s words to heart and be that change, what would the world even look like?!  What if we all vowed to see people for who they are and not for the color of their skin or the colors they wear?

Well, no matter how many what-ifs I pose or wishes I wish, I can’t control the “we”. Just the “me”.

One of the best pieces of marriage advice Ryan and I ever received was centered around this concept. They said, before charging at your mate with accusations, take a second and think about something you might have done (and by might I mean definitely did lol). When you’re able to see that you, too, make mistakes and can hurt the ones you love, it softens you. Ultimately, it humbles you. And it elicits change. I can throw tantrum after tantrum, demanding Ryan become more like me, feel the things I feel and understand my gloriously complex woman-brain. OR, I can vow to work hard and do everything in MY power to make this marriage work. Because I only have control over myself.

And that should be freeing! We don’t control the decisions and opinions of others. Simply our own. PHEW. Because that’s a heavy burden to bear.

So let’s all look inwardly, folks. Let’s change this country from the inside out. And I’ll leave you again with a question we should ask ourselves daily:

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