I haven’t written about any quotes from my spiritual friends lately so here we go. Today I went back to my old friend St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. He is talking about something I think we can all use more of – Serenity.
First the quote:
You are worried. Listen: happen what may in your interior life or in the world that surrounds you, never forget that the importance of events or of people is very relative. Take things calmly; let time pass; and then, as you view persons and happenings dispassionately and from afar, you will acquire the perspective that will enable you to see each thing in its proper place and in its true size.
If you do this, you will be more objective and you will spare yourself many causes of anxiety. – The Way 702
With all of the craziness in the world, there is around us, we have some choices we need to make. We can worry about every little thing until it eats away at us, or we can do what St. Josemaria says and take a step back, view things from far away and dispassionately, and you will see thing in a different light.
I learned a long time ago, not that I always practiced what I learned though, that you cannot control everything. In fact, the only thing you can have absolute control over is yourself. You can try to control other people, places, and things, but you can never completely do that. It was after falling off that damn truck I realized that it is God who is in control, He can control other people, places, and things. And I also learned that even He can’t control you, unless you let Him.
If you can’t control other things then why would you worry about them? I believe that 99.99% of our stress is self-induced. We stress ourselves out by worrying over things we have no control over. I have mentioned (probably ad nauseum in fact) that I have fibromyalgia. Why I even wrote a book about it called, “You Can Beat Fibromyalgia, or let it beat you. At first I worried about it. There were all kinds of questions like, will I always feel so bad, will I always be so tired, will it get worse? I began to learn all I could about it, realized it could be managed, I might be tired and hurt, but I could live with it. So I stopped worrying about it.
I took a step back, reviewed the situation and I decided I had a choice. I could sit back, do nothing and let it control me, or I could beat it. In order to beat it, I couldn’t worry about it since I could not control the fact that I had it. I could control how I dealt with it however. I chose what my life was going to be like.
By stepping back and looking at things from afar as St. Josemaria says, you will become more objective when dealing with things. During the last week here in New England, everyone is stressing themselves out about the little issue with Tom Brady and the Patriots. There has been more ink spilled and air time given to that story than anything else. It is all the talk at the water coolers and pubs around this area. Why? Is it really that important? Does it really matter? People should spend more time worrying about the homeless, the poor, the hungry instead of a whether a multimillion dollar quarterback cheated and should have been suspended.
I heard it, I laughed, and I moved on. Why? Becasue when you step back and look at it, you realize it makes absolutely no difference in life. It certainly made no difference in mine. When we are all dead and buried, will it really have mattered?
What will matter is our lives, whether we cheated or not whether we followed God’s rules or not. His is the judgement that matters.