Sins of the parents

My sin is catching up with me. 

Last night I kept rousing, heart thumping, innards quietly buzzing. Free-floating anxiety. But over what? I kept (keep) asking myself. 

Here’s the thing: I don’t think there’s any ‘what’ there*. But I want there to be a ‘what.’ Because then I could build a plan, and have some things to do, and do them, and the feeling would go away. Right?

I desperately want to grab control. 

Original sin, yet again made manifest.

It’s interesting to consider how episodes like this give me ever-more opportunities to practice a God-centered life. That is, to move again through the motions of opening my grasping hands and mind, stepping backwards, and ceding control to the One to whom it belongs. It is the hardest faith-thing I do, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier.

I feel like I’m one of those puppers my sister has had to train: “Mmmf? What? This shoe? In my mouth? Ohhhh…how on earth did it get there?” Every. Time. I can almost hear God with the clicker in my ear, <pop-pop>.

I try to add patience to my struggle. One, because a side effect of this control problem is perfectionistic tendencies–I should/could be done already now!–so reminding myself to be patient is part of the package. 

But also because I’m the eldest child of two extremely bright and capable people who like to make plans and accomplish them. My role models were (are) all about Getting It Done, whatever the current It was. Packing for a move, complete with labeled and inventoried boxes? Check. Earning a Ph.D.? Check. Meals? First sketch a month’s-worth on the calendar, then build out the list, then shop for all but the most perishable parts… meals it is. You name it, there’s a plan for it.

Even as a Girl Scout leader specializing in a girl-led scouting experience, I required advance plans as part of the troop’s experiences. I promised we could alter them on a whim, and we did, but I needed the girls to start from something.

So, patience and more patience as I realize I’ve bitten the shoe (again), put it down, and re-center myself in discerning waiting. Behavioral grooves take a lot of consistent practice to re-form. 

And maybe, given the deep-seated nature of humans’ hunger to control things, this struggle will never be fully behind me as long as I live.

Let’s talk in twenty years; I’ll tell you how I’m doing then.



*In chatting later on with my friend Mer, she asked, “Are you through menopause? No? Hormones. Gonna be hormones. Nobody warns us how much those can mess us up!” Which fits my no ‘what’ assessment…and leaves me still right in the middle of the struggle!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: