Posted by: innerpilgrimage | April 17, 2010

Life Really is Easier When I Give Over Micromanagement to my Higher Power

      Well, it seems things calmed down when I needed them to, though there are still hotspots in my life that I am having trouble with.

      So, Thursday I got the address for my business. I didn’t get the business name registration handled because I had to fight everything every step of the way to get to it. So, after explaining this to my husband, I learned that he was pushing only because I have spent my life not getting this stuff done. He wanted it done because it’s his ticket to eventual freedom from the soul-crushing corporate job he has to work to make sure our family can pay its bills and get us out of debt. Like a person walking into meeting for the first time, he needs the hope and clings to it like a life preserver.
      Well, Friday, I got that registered, and I trusted in my HP that it was the day to do it. And my HP didn’t disappoint. See, I had forgotten to get cash and forgot to get my checkbook. The government office doesn’t accept debit cards, so I was out of luck. I needed cash. So, when I drove away from my volunteer service on Friday (after dropping off the DVD, which allowed me to understand what the manager wanted and also got me time in the seat to really get to know this video-making program), I drove downtown looking for an ATM from my bank. I found one on my map program, and I made it downtown to the bank with no problem whatsoever, trusting that my HP would guide me. I found parking right by the bank, pulled over and began to look for change for the meter.
      I only had pennies on me. Seriously.
      So, I had to leave that spot and look for another. I considered a parking garage, then, as I passed where the ATM was, I saw between two large buildings a wide walking plaza. On the other side was a street. I decided to go around the block and try to park behind the building, hoping my Higher Power would provide me a space to park so I could get my business done. I went around the block, and I saw one space. Just one, and it was metered. I looked around, hoping to see another up the block. Well, I decided at worst I would risk the ticket, so I parked in that spot.
      This is where I truly believe my HP was looking out for me. Not only did the space take credit cards, the meter was blinking green. I wasn’t quite sure what it meant, considering there was a person parked next to it, and that meter was blinking red. So I got out to look. As I prepared to put my card in the meter, I waited to see if there were minutes on it.
      Some kind soul had left 30 minutes on the meter. I had all the time I needed to go to the ATM, get money, and come back.
      There was a line in front of the ATM, so having that buffer of time made me relaxed. When it was my turn, I did my business and returned to the car. I had to get back on to the numbered-street avenue which had the dead-end outlet to the government office building I needed to go to, which ran parallel to the street I was on. I needed to find a president-named street that went through. So I started down one and saw a president-named thoroughfare was one block up. I took it, and started toward my destination. I noticed down a side street that emergency vehicles were coming my way. Being in the left lane, I had someone to my right and couldn’t get over as the emergency vehicles started down the president-named thoroughfare. Not sure where to go, I trusted, again, that things would be okay. The person to my right pulled over, and I was able to pull over to the right, as well. The emergency vehicles passed, and I got back on the road.
      I got to my destination, found easy parking in the lot, and walked into the building. The line was short, this time, and I waited patiently. Then, a service person left a door, sat in a cubicle, and I was helped probably 10 minutes earlier than I would have been had she not appeared. She answered my questions, I got my business name registered quickly, and it was done–even before the people ahead of me in line were finished with their business. I was really pleased. Trusting my HP would take care of me on Friday really panned out.

      One of the problems I had when I started OA was the counterintuitive nature of going from an out-of-control existence where I was completely in control to one where I gave over control to my Higher Power. I knew what being out of control was like. I lived it for decades.
      I think many of us fight this, because we feel we have to control the world, megalomaniacs that we are. It sounds like we’re supposed to be mind-controlled zombie zealots for the 12 Steps, not taking responsibility for our actions. Au contraire.
      When I give control to my Higher Power, I have more control over my life than ever before. As I defined “being in control”, I would be a reasonable person who could make sensible decisions which sometimes went right and sometimes went wrong. I wouldn’t panic over them; I would accept success graciously and accept defeat as a learning experience. I would be able to get things done in my life instead of being blocked at every turn. I would be okay as I walked through the day, and I wouldn’t be constantly in a state of anxiety and anger that things weren’t moving as fast as I wanted them to. Things would move in their logical time, and I would get what I needed to done by the deadlines I and others set for me.
      How does giving control help, then? Because I chose a Higher Power which wants me to live a sane life. This HP wants me to go to meetings, perform service for my group, and sponsor people up to the level of my recovery. This HP wants me to work at my volunteer opportunity and expand my understanding and skill set so I can complete tasks imperfectly but good enough others would consider them excellently done. Whenever I fight challenges brought before me, push harder because of myself or others, I am left bereft of serenity. I am anxious, stressed, and miserable (like I was on Thursday).
      My Higher Power planned me to do one thing per day, and I intuitively knew this. I knew that I was going to be okay if I just let the details pass into my HP’s hands. If I went with the flow of the Universe instead of fighting to get straight through, my Higher Power would provide what I needed to get what I needed done.
      This brings me to the project I am doing for my volunteer position. Yesterday, there was some miscommunication which I hope I clarified. The difficulty I am facing regarding the project is that the person I am doing it for is so deeply invested in it. This person wants me to do everything, from discerning which slides are wanted in the project (the goal is about 150, and I was to be given 500 or more then do it by trial-and-error), to randomizing them properly so no group’s photos are all together, to recognizing where the people were working. I know the main campus, but I don’t know the stores or dining rooms away from the main campus. So, I held the line on that. I kept repeating I did not know the people by face or name nor did I know the places, and that I needed her to narrow down the photos to 300 or less. A fifty-fifty chance to get the right ones is better than 25%-75%. She tried to show me pictures, as if convincing me that I could do it. Then I explained that if there were too many photos, I could end up choosing the wrong ones. So, I requested no more than 200 photos be given to me, and that she pick them. She didn’t want to; she wanted me to do it. I held the line there, because I am doing a lot of work behind-the-scenes getting this up and running with very little to work with at this point (no photos, general requests for how it is to look, and a sense that whatever I do will be “not perfect enough”). I feel bad that I am fighting her on it, but next year I will be more familiar with it and be able to do it with 500+ photos. Also, the number of photos is making it troublesome because of timing. Finally, we determined that, for a 7 minute video, I could do 20 photos per minute. The limit, then, is 140, with the volunteer nominee photos.
      I will do my best and present what I have regularly (I bought a spool of 100 DVDs so I could burn them regularly to show my progress). I also have a serious worry that I won’t get access to the DVD player before showtime (though I have asked). There may come a point where I will have to say that what I have produced will have to do, and if she wants something different, she’ll have to do it herself.
      It’s odd that because I have some understanding of computers, I am seen as a computer guru and can do anything with a computer. I’m just an end-user like everyone else–my repertoire is not as big as some and bigger than others. I can’t write a web page, but I have a pretty decent learning curve when I want to learn a program. I can do trial and error, though it hits a sore spot in my personality when I “error”. I learn best when someone shows me. That audiovisual learning style, supplemented by my own notes (which bookmark the memory), allows me to learn to my maximum potential. Though yesterday I did successfully navigate a trial-and-error situation and made a PowerPoint slide in about a half-hour. It was basic, but it had the requested elements–logo, contact information, and the mission statement. It looked a little rough until I put a frame around the organization’s logo, and then it popped in its simplicity. Since it’s going to be part of a presentation which will cycle through all of the volunteer organization attendees, the two things that needed to pop did: The logo (which has the name of the organization) and the phone number. So, while it’s showing for its 5 or 10 seconds, a person can write down the organization name and the contact number for the office to get more information, if they don’t get a chance to talk to the representatives who will be at the fair. It turned out well, but if there are needed changes, I can make them. I didn’t know how to pull the slide off, but neither did the person I made it for. We’re relying on the event organizers to figure it out at this point.

      Today is a no-fun day because I get to sit in a room for a couple of hours to represent one of my groups. I’m not wildly happy about this monthly service because I am uncomfortable at these meetings. I’ve been to two, and the first one was okay but the second had a tension moment which caused strong emotions to flare. It disturbed me because I was bewildered as to why it was a hot-button issue (apparently, it keeps coming up). So two dozen or so of us get to sit in a room for 2 hours. Some people write their reports then read them instead of going over salient points, which gets agitating. I can read the document in front of me. I don’t really want to read along and have the meeting go overtime. I suppose this is a patience-building exercise from my HP, but I personally want to quit as the meeting representative. It’s frustrating, and I don’t look forward to going to the monthly meeting, even if it is only 2 hours long. I mean, I can happily sit in actual group meetings for 2 hours per week. That time commitment is not a problem for me. I get a lot out of them. Maybe I ought to try to take another approach to this meeting, because I am finding myself dreading the whole experience and want to find a way to beg off today. But I won’t.
      I have to give this time. Maybe in a few months, it won’t be so frustrating. While I don’t particularly want to be there and feel it’s an obligation instead of a joy to serve, I hope that it’s my HP’s will for me to do it. Well, if it isn’t, I will quit. This, hopefully, is my self-serving will talking instead of my HP’s guidance toward becoming stronger in program. Then again, it could have been the reverse–perhaps my self-serving will and desire to be recognized which made me decide to take on this service. But only time will tell, I guess. If this is from my HP, then I need to be open to the opportunity and to whatever this is guiding me to do.
      Well, I have to finish the service stuff for my home group before I get ready to go.
      My name is Jess, and I am a food addict. While I work on giving control to my Higher Power, I know that it’s making things easier in my life. The Universe seems chaotic when I am buffeted by its natural ebbs and flows as I try to drive a straight line through to a destination. But it is the journey which matters, and I need to be patient as I journey toward discovery and recovery.

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