I think I am addicted to Podcasts on my iPhone. As I get ready for work I like listening to different sermons by a variety of Pastors. Often while I’m listening they will tell a story that is the perfect starting point for one of the weekly Healing Thoughts.
Recently during my morning routine, a Pastor mentioned how he chuckles when he watches people while they’re bowling. They strike their pose as they release the bowling ball. Then as it speeds towards the pins they contort their bodies trying to get the bowling ball to change its course. If the ball needs to go right to avoid falling into the left gutter…they bend their body at a sharp right angle. If the ball needs to head more to the left to make a perfect strike…their entire body leans dangerously to the left. The funny part is that once they have released the bowling ball they have no control over it direction. Its path was determined from the moment the ball was released from their hand. No amount of body contortions are going to change the ball’s path. Yet, they still move their bodies in the direction they want the ball to go.
Isn’t that human nature…we often try to control things that we have no control over!
I am especially guilty of this when it comes to the relationships in my life. For years I have been a people pleaser. I worked hard to fine tune my ability to be exactly what I thought the other person wanted me to be for them. Whether it was the perfect wife, the doting friend, the straight “A” student…I aimed to please. Yet, I was miserable because even if I tried to be everything I thought someone wanted me to be I still felt like it wasn’t enough. That I wasn’t enough.
I was incessantly frustrated in every relationship. Because no matter how hard I tried to please a person I couldn’t control their reaction to me. No amount of mental and emotional contortions, in order to please them, could ever change how they reacted to my behavior. I had no control over their reactions, whatsoever! I could bend over backwards to do what I thought would be pleasing to them, but they became irritated instead. I could bend sideways, trying to do more of them same behavior that had pleased them at one time, but now it went unnoticed by them.
Through inner healing I finally realized that my unhealthy desire to please everyone all of the time was ruining my relationships. In trying to be everything for everyone…I’d lost myself. I didn’t know who Kirsten was anymore.
My healing has been a process. Years of constant mental and emotional contortions had me so tied up in knots inside that I didn’t know where to begin unknotting first. Thankfully, working with a trained Prayer Minister helped me to find where God wanted to start His healing.
God’s healing has led me to enjoy balanced interactions with others. When I catch myself beginning to contort to control – I smile. Because I now truly know that somethings are beyond my control and they should stay that way!