A friend found this quote somewhere on the internet and made it her status this week: "Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God." It states my philosophy in this life with power and simplicity. A dozen or so words describing a road map for navigating our way through the complexities and pain that being alive brings to us.
No person is spared hurt and shock. It is as much a part of the human experience as breathing or eating. We all walk through joy as well as pain, and how we react in a crisis shows what we are truly made of. We can't fake our depth. The way we live every day reveals us, and never more so than in the awful times, when words don't do anything, but we can still offer something of ourselves to others.
I'm realizing slowly that I can't control the outcome of anything. I can only play my small part, to the best of my ability, and not be attached to the results. There is an element of faith and the opening of my clenched fingers to everything that I do. I am not responsible for other people's feelings and actions. They own those the same way that I own mine.
Recognizing that "the rest is up to God" is very freeing, because it takes the weight from my shoulders and puts it on God's, where it belongs. It doesn't help me to stay mired in guilt and worry about how others perceive me or feel about me. Those areas are out of my control and responsibility; they do not belong to me so I must not fight for ownership of them. It's enough for me to focus on simplicity, kindness, love and caring, while letting go of the outcomes of the situations I am in.
It's easy to type it here, and of course much harder to live it out on a day by day basis. But I can learn to do my part better, and release the control to God for what does not belong to me. Each day I can improve a little bit in this area, until I'm further down the road, and I look back, and see that I am not wasting energy on what I cannot control. For today I will do my part, be as kind as possible, and leave the rest to God.