I am master over me
In the poem “Invictus” by the William Ernest Henley, he says “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” I really like these lines!
In the first place it reminds me that I do have power and control over my own life. I can control my own feelings, what I am learning, what I do and say, my attitudes, etc.
But, on the hand, I need to remember that I do need God’s help and guidance in my life. Everything goes better when I am seeking to do His will and not my own.
I notice it says “my fate” and “my soul”. This reminds me that I am not the master over anyone else’s life. I need to “mind my own business”. I can restrain myself from giving so much advice and remember God is not just mine; He will help everyone else too. I want the right and the dignity to learn and grow at my own pace and I can give others around me that freedom too.
I am the master of my own fate. I am the captain of my own soul. This is my life!
Sometimes I ask a lot of “Why?” questions. Why do the people around me have addictions? Why have I been dealt the life and circumstances that I have? Why did my friend or loved one die? Why do I have to deal with all this crazy making behavior? Why do I or someone I love have health problems? Etc. etc. etc.
But, why not me? Other people have problems and trials and hard times so why should I never have them? I’ve heard it said that “Why? is not a spiritual question”. I am not accepting “life on life’s terms” when I ask “Why?” I am dropping back into my victim mentality when I ask “Why me?” and I don’t want to go back there!
Heavenly Father loves me and wants me to grow. I know He won’t give me more than I can handle with His help. I can ask “What do I need to learn from this?” instead of asking “Why me?” When I take responsibility for myself, I am refusing to be a victim. “Any question that starts with the word ‘why’ helps me to know there is something I need to accept”.
I choose God.
I was lamenting and complaining to my son about how easy it is to create bad habits. And it is so hard it is to break them. It is hard to choose to create good habits and easy to stop them. Why is that?!
Maybe making good habits is hard because we live in a mortal world and that is just the way it is here. My son listened to me and then responded that he thinks it is because we need to consciously and consistently turn to God.
After I thought about what he said, I realized that he is right. I won’t get to return to live with God by accident. I have to look at and turn to the good, turn towards God. The choices I make every day, every hour, every minute determine whether I am turning to God or not. I choose God.
I am shy and to speak and communicate has always been hard for me. Instead of speaking up for myself when needed to I would hide by leaving the room or reading a book – by not being present. Instead of reaching out to others and making new friends I would sit in the corner or leave parties or gatherings as soon as I could.
Today I am learning to share my thoughts and feelings openly, directly and honestly. I am learning to do this by going to meetings and talking with people I trust. When I tell others that I used to not be able to share openly, they are often amazed.
In support meetings I listened to others share with honesty about their experiences, thoughts and feelings. I identified with so many others. No one cut them down or expressed disapproval at what they said. I gradually gained the courage to speak and try to express myself. I was very awkward and uncomfortable at first, but no one cut me down or expressed disapproval at what I said, so I continued to practice expressing myself. Gradually I gained courage and more confidence in talking and speaking up.
There are still times when I wonder if I should talk or when I am afraid to speak. At these times I can ask God if I should speak up, if there is anything I should say and ask for His direction. It is never long before I am given guidance. There are times when I say the wrong thing, or say it too loudly. At these times I can make amends quickly and try again. I am learning how to communicate. I am learning how to be a friend.