Monday, May 7, 2012

Fret not thyself... ~ Psalm 37

Most of the time I am pretty good about setting fretfulness aside.  Most of the time.  It takes up too much mental energy to allow it to hang around.  I used to be a monumental fretter.  I could take a concern and worry it like a dog does a bone, not letting go for days or weeks on end.  Then a very dear internet friend of mine named Kathie from Perth, Australia...who was also a monumental fretter...told me of the 99/1 Rule an Irish friend had passed on to her.  99% of what we fret about never comes to pass.  The one percent that does, we face it, we deal with it, and we move on.  I mean, think about that.  In all reality, isn't that the truth?  I fretted about living long enough to see my children graduate from high school.  They are now 33 and 35 years old.  Don't need to fret about that one any more.  In years past when money was extremely tight I'd worry about getting bills paid.  Dear Hubby and I have an excellent credit rating.  Obviously, that worry didn't come to fruition, either.  I am a very practical minded person and when this 'rule' was brought to my attention and I gave it some thought I decided it made sense to me and began applying it to my life.  I can not begin to tell you how liberating this has been for me.

And yet, sometimes a certain concern will come along and I find myself chewing away at that old bone of fretfulness again.  It concerns a loved one who just can't seem to get their act together.  Who slides along in life without putting any effort forth to better their position or quality of life.  And everyone around this person wants to see them succeed, wants to see them get some kind of vision of moving on into the here and now and quit dwelling on the past.   To realize we're all getting mentally exhausted from trying to help them keep it together.  To realize we're not going to be here forever to keep coming behind them and straightening their life out.  To know how frustrating it is to pitch in to try to help, only to know we'll be right back at square one in a month or two.  To know how angry it makes us to take time out of our own busy schedules to help with things that would take very little effort on their part to keep under control.  We all spend a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how we can help this person realize they need more help than we have to offer anymore. 

I am speaking from the heart here.  I am not being critical or judgmental.  I am saying this because I love this person.  I want to see them happy, to be able to face a new day with a sense of anticipation instead of an "Ugh.  Another day to get thru" attitude.  I want to have it settled in my heart that when I'm gone this person is at a place in life where they're happy.  That would ease a tremendous amount of my fretfulness.

I don't know.  It's so true how none of us can see the forest for the trees when we're in the middle of something.  A bad marriage where everyone around them has the solution as to how to improve things except for the two who are married to each other.  Situations like that.  We can all see the solutions in our situation, too, but until the person in the middle of it sees the need it's like bucking up against a brick wall and being knocked back a few feet every time we try to bring it up.   I heard a sermon once many, many years ago and the minister used a phrase that has stuck with me all these years.  He said, "You've got to have a want to."  He was referring to spiritual things as far as wanting to stick with the gospel.  But it is so true for everything in life to succeed.  You  have to have a want to.  Not a "Welllllllllllll, maybe I can change."  Or the idea in the back of your mind that everyone will come bail you out.  Again.  No.  It's kind of like the situation where the little boy cried "Wolf!" too many times.  The others are going to give up.

I don't want to say I'm at the point of giving up.  I love this loved one too much to do that.  But if we could only help this person see their need to give themselves a good shaking and toss off the layers and layers of apathy.  To begin to enjoy life instead of burying themselves away from the world.  There's so much out there.  If only they could chop down a few of those trees in the forest and see the sunlight.


Mom said...

You are speaking to my heart today. I know this kind of fretting all too well.

*Reading Between the Lines* said...

There are sooo many people around me like what you wrote.
I am so thankful to have the Lord Jesus Christ there...walking with me & when I can't walk ...he is carrying me.
Love you,

anonymous said...

I will pray for your loved one, Kris, as I know you are praying for mine. Unfortunately, my loved one is in such a terribly dark place, with the possibility of losing everything that seems to matter to him, that he sees it as hopeless and doesn't want to continue living at all. It's so heartwrenching trying to make him see that he has his family - we all love him so much and want nothing more than to see him content and happy. Part of the problem, too, is that some of his family doesn't believe that God exists or cares. I know He is the answer to everything, but it's hard to make him believe that if others aren't reinforcing it. Sometimes life IS so hard. And I know that in those times we have to turn it all over to God and trust Him. It is so hard to give up our illusion of's so hard. But that's all I can do anymore. And I know it may not be enough to get him to see it, but I'm going to pray knowing that it's up to him and Him. I just am so afraid of losing them both. Sorry for the "rant".


LC said...

It is hard at times to avoid fretting when the object of our fretting is a dear one. I have some precious role models who say of a child, "He (or she, I am protecting identity here) is an adult now. The decisions and the consequences are his."

My role models give advice only when asked and are loving and compassionate, and their children know that the moms see them as fellow adults. Thought-provoking post for all with grown offspring.

Anonymous said...

An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

Blu-I'd-Blonde said...

This blog is so like me, our thinking, I feel like a "kindred spirit" as Anne of Green Gables would say. Bless you