The Best Advice from my Therapist

It feels like it’s been a MINUTE since I’ve sat down to actually ~write~ something here – probably because it has been. Apparently, since May. In a way, not much has changed on that front – and in a way, everything has changed. For the first time in a long time, I’m proud of myself.

To know me deeply is to know that I’m super self-critical and struggle truly celebrating myself before moving on to the next task or challenge. A fatal flaw of the Enneagram 3, I suppose. đŸ˜‰ 

But I’ve been really prioritizing my personal growth and choosing me from an un-selfish standpoint – meaning, choosing me knowing that when I make certain choices for myself, it betters how I show up for everyone else, too. You can’t show up for them if you don’t show up for you, and that lesson has really become painfully clear to me in this season especially.

Today, I wanted to share something I learned months ago that I never quite expected to stick with me as much as it has. It was a tidbit told to me by my then-therapist, and it’s popped back into my brain too many times to count in recent months as I’ve re-shared it in conversations with girlfriends.

Replace a need for control with a sense of curiosity.

She described it, quite literally, as replacing a sometimes-obsessive attempt to figure out God’s behind-the-scenes work with a simple wondering of what He’s up to and how it’ll inevitably play out for your good (because it will – Romans 8:28).

Now, at first, this felt completely ludicrous and borderline silly.

Like sure Karen, I’ll just throw my hands up and think “HUH, whatcha up to Big Guy? I’m so CURIOUS!!!” 

But then, the inevitable, uncontrollable happens. And you’re met with the choice: continue the near-maddening pursuit of control, knowing it’s a total facade – or let go, and let God. Let go of the need to figure it out, to know what’s happening every step of the way – and let it be what it’s going to be, allowing yourself to find out what He’s up to in real time.

Will it be uncomfortable switching gears like that? You betcha.

Will it take some time to adjust to a new mindset, requiring active, intentional shifts and re-directs along the way? Probably.

But will it be more peace-giving and life-fulfilling than continuously pushing for the impossible? Absolutely.

I want to emphasize the fact that this feels completely unnatural to me most times. For much of my life, I wanted to know what was happening, when, why and how, and I wanted a say so in all of the above. Heck, I was the queen of “make it happen” HERE – and while yes, there are so many things you can (and should! and do!) “make happen” yourself, there is ALSO so much that is truly out of our control, regardless of how much we try, want, or pray for it to be otherwise.

Whether it be a medical diagnosis or familial situation, a job stressor or other relationship woe – it may simply be out of our hands and in His. 

And at that point, it’s important – actually, crucial – to step back and step up in a posture of faith and surrender, curious about what direction the path not yet traveled may go. 

What I’ve learned – and am still learning – is that though it be uncomfortable at times, it gets to be less of an anxious walk the more I lean into the curiosity and let go of the control. Instead of being constantly plagued by the question marks, I’m comforted by knowing Who is writing them into my story – and excited to see how it’s all used to better me, and hopefully those around me, too.

If you’ve been feeling similar feels lately, I hope this notion helps bring some peace to your heart today – sending you big hugs.