Image courtesy of  voraorn/

A frequently occurring mantra in my head this morning is, “Take a deep breath, relax. This too shall pass.”  I am in one of those moods where every little thing is irritating me. Actually, I am allowing it to do so. I have to consciously redirect my thoughts to what really matters—– that God is in control. Period. It does not matter that my television carrier stopped carrying the Weather Channel overnight. It does not matter that the university’s web-page generating program is tedious, onerous, and just about every other “bad adjective” I can think to attach to it. It doesn’t matter that I made a trip to the pharmacy last night for a medication that was promised to be phoned in and ready to be picked up by 6 PM last night yet was not there when I arrived to purchase it.

Now, looking at that list of grievances, I realize the things I have allowed to bother me are trivial. The bible verses I chose to post on my church’s Facebook page this morning for the daily bible reading say it all: “It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever flowing rivers. The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon” (PSALM 74: 15– 16 NIV). I need to just relax and trust God. Just because things are not going my way does not mean God has abandoned me or anyone else or thing he created. Just because things don’t happen how or when I want them to doesn’t mean God is not in control—–or that he should have done things my way instead of his. Sometimes my psyche is like that of a demanding 2 year old. I don’t like that part of myself. Luckily, God loves all of me regardless of whether I am demanding or in a good mood or not.

Prior to working a twelve step program I would have used this “free floating irritability” triggered by my inability to control everything in my life exactly the way I want to as an excuse to indulge in one or several addictions. Now I know better. I don’t reach for a drink, drug, or sugar. I love myself too much to use my irritation as an excuse to hurt myself. Now I am forced to feel what I am feeling instead of numbing my feelings. I am learning to be that “witness” contemplative prayer is teaching me to be—–to practice a type of detachment so that I can observe what happens and my reaction without getting caught up in the drama of it. I can say to myself, “Well, you’re upset because you didn’t get the medication you need when you  need it. Live with it. Going without it a bit longer will not kill you. Get over yourself.”

And, today, that is my best advice to myself—“get over yourself!” It is not all about me or how I think or need things to be. What I can change is how I react to life. Sometimes it is about accepting my reaction, noting it, and getting on with the business of living, and, if I am lucky, I can even begin to realize that living is a gift and not a business at all. God bless and keep you.