I am appreciative of the opportunity to revisit a thought that had moved itself into the nether reaches of my psyche. Like a shadow awaiting discovery it’s very exposure is enlightening.
As I worked with a teenager yesterday, overwhelmed by the burden his choices and decisions have created, spirit appropriately moved me in the direction to address his deep seeded concern.
Overwhelmed by the task of digging himself out of the hole he created for himself the young man reported a lack of motivation, imminent failure, and the impossibility of completing school work necessary to be promoted to the next grade. Coupled with his academic task at hand the teenager also embraced the entrenched psychiatrist diagnosis put in place by mental health professionals.
We discussed control. What he can and cannot control. Far too often many of us attempt to predict the outcome of an endeavor, predicting or perhaps setting into motion the inevitable failure. The analogy used was he had taken too big of a bite and what is necessary is cutting the bites down to be more manageable. Instead of allowing the overwhelming burden of end result thinking to sap his energy. We further discussed what and where his control begins and ends. He has control of completing daily assignments. he has control of studying for the next test. he has control of how he allocates and uses his time and focus. Experience tells me if he shifts his focus from end-result thinking to what he can control today the outcome will be what it will be. With his experience of loss, disappointment, and failure we began breaking down and processing the original thinking of deservability and failure. School had simply become the arena he used to prove and express feelings life had taught to him as truth. He grasped the concept of smaller bites but struggled to manage deservability. His life experience has taught him he isn’t good enough for good, his value diminished he had become a victim of others ideals of who he is and will become. He has relinquished control. I better understand my role as a therapist is to restore this young man’s sense of control: small bites.
It dawned on me those deemed most successful are those with a clear vision of end-result thinking and the self-control to take small manageable bites. An investment in a plan of action derived from a true understanding of what is in their control and what is not. By doing the things one has control over and clearly understanding the myriad of things one has no control over progress is inevitable. Success and progress are self-fulfilling. Plans change and move us in a direction we may not have even considered. With a focus on doing the things we can control new directions present themselves. Spirit is never wrong. Spirit expands in ever direction. Acknowledging and responding to Spirit is an expression of self-control.
The old adage is: You want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans