Calvin: You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help.
Hobbes: Well, you've done all you can do.
Calvin & Hobbes
I love this quote because, for one, it's Calvin & Hobbes. And, two, it's so true for my life now that I am in recovery. In the past, when I was scared, I used to just keep doing things because I was craving control. I would strike bargains with God, I would manipulate, I would lie, I would obsessively clean something, I would be emotionally abusive. All of those things were never directly relevant to the underlying problem. But they were often a damn fine way for me to avoid addressing or even looking at the real issues that I had and still feel like I was in control.
Today, in my life in recovery, I try to do everything I should and no more than that. If I turn in an assignment, I try not to obsessively email the professor to see what my grade is. If I ask my partner to take on a task, I try not to nag him over and over again about how I think he should do the task and when. If I establish a boundary with a loved one, I try not to force their feelings on the issues.
These days, when I wake up in the morning, I accept I am going to try to do the best I can and that I will fall short of perfection and that others will also. I try to pray for guidance, patience, and forgiveness for myself and others. These are my “lucky underpants.” And if things don't turn out the way I wanted them to, that's great news, because I've found that when things don't turn out the way I want them to, in the long run, they always turn out better than I could have dreamed.
A meditation for June 18, 2013.