Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you wish to succeed in managing and controlling others – learn to manage and control yourself. William J. H. Boeteker

I am back from a beautiful vacation visiting Mom, a sister, and friends. My friend from long ago and her sister, and niece visited wineries. We laughed, sipped wine, bought a few bottles, cooked wonderful dinners, and laughed some more.

We went out to Karaoke where out of a party of five, three sang, and I wasn’t one of them. Some people know how to take lemons and make lemonade, and I am always heartened when I see someone accept the challenges they are dealing with and handle them with humor, optimism, and gratitude.

Last night my husband was setting up a TV in my art studio and he was playing Oprah talking about gratitude. She was talking about how a friend got through the loss of her husband with gratitude. It’s not that she was happy he was gone, but that she was grateful for what they had, and what she still had.

We are all grateful and so is Mom that at ninety-seven she can live in her own home, walk, read, live on her own schedule, and has access to the aids that make life easier. If she ever needs to go into a home we are grateful they are there to meet the needs of those who can no longer live independently.

We have so much to be grateful for, even if things are bad, they could be worse. We may want to live a life without challenges, but the challenges are where we learn things we may learn no other way. We may face a challenge and understand how relationships turn sour over seemingly small things, small things to us, not small things to someone else.

Power is not controlling other people. Power is controlling ourselves. Trying to control other people is the first sign that you are entirely out of control. Controlling others is what weak people think power looks like. Unknown

We can’t know how people will react to something until it happens, we may think we know how we will react but we won’t know for sure until we have to deal with it. Will we be optimistic and grateful when we are brought to our knees when our health takes a turn with a dire prognosis?

Will we be able to stand by our family if they make bad decisions and end up in situations we thought impossible? Will we be there for them in their time of need? What does being there for them in their time of need look like? Can we find a way to help but not enable, encourage but not control, and be with them in their pain even though we can’t carry their burden? Can we help someone get on the right track knowing it won’t be as quick as we’d like, and setbacks are likely? Can we believe in them when they might have a hard time believing in themselves?

If we only love someone when it is easy we have to ask ourselves if our love is as strong, deep, and enduring as we thought it would be. We all love easy love, loving our five-month-old grandson is easy, what if he disappoints us, or himself in the years to come? It is hard to live a life where we don’t make mistakes and disappoint ourselves and others.  We all make mistakes and missteps, we do things, and say things that hurt others, and they do things and say things that hurt us. This is all part of the human condition.

Can we be grateful we have people in our lives even if they hurt and disappoint us? Can we keep people in our lives when we hurt and disappoint them? One of our big problems in life is the unmet expectations of people we love, people we vote for, and people who make decisions that affect our lives. Are we expecting them to be better than they can possibly be? We live in a country where peace and plenty are all around us, and we can still make decisions that mess up our lives, but we also have enough resources that most people can rise above bad circumstances.

It seems to me, we can’t help someone else do something they haven’t made up their mind to do, and they can’t help us. We hear about people who turned their life around with the help of… the key is they turned their life around. We can’t turn their life around for them, and they can’t turn our life around for us. We have to be okay with their decisions to go forward even if it isn’t the way we want them to go forward. The freedom we all have is to choose even when we aren’t making the best choice. We might not understand the lesson someone else has to learn, or even the lesson we have to learn.

What if we need to be grateful we are capable of learning the lesson we are to learn?

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. Brian Tracy

He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still. Lao Tzu

Control is an element of weakness and insecurity. You truly cannot control anyone or anything other than your effort and attitude. Sylvester McNutt

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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