Foot stomping, Garth Brooks and a bag on my head

I am a bit grumpy today.
Slept too long. I tell myself it is the ongoing stress addressed in past blogs. But really, it is a lack of discipline. I admit it. We will discuss that in a subsequent blog.
But I am also grumpy because a couple things aren’t working out as I thought they would.
As per normal for the past 2.5 years, I wanted the financial resolution to be finalized by now. It isn’t. And for reasons beyond my comprehension, my foot stomping isn’t changing anything!!
Now I am planning an event that is not taking the shape the way I pictured.  And for reasons beyond my comprehension, my foot stomping isn’t changing anything!!
HMMMPPPPHHHH!!!
Then the still, small Voice comes: It isn’t about you.
What?
It isn’t about you.
I don’t understand what you are saying!
It isn’t about you.
WHAT????
It really isn’t it. Once again.
First: HMMMPPPPHHHH!!!
Second: Reflection
I can, in a second, name four people I love who are fighting cancer/blood disorders.
Nancy, my dear dear friend, in treatment for a second battle with ovarian cancer.
David, in chemo right this minute for lymphoma. His willingness to be an instrument for God’s words has changed my life, and made our church and city a better place.
Emily, fighter extraordinaire against leukemia. Her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles have been my friends for 35 years, and are beloved members of our community.
Robin. Sweet Robin. Beloved by millions and as down to earth as your next door neighbor. Moving forward after a bone marrow transplant to eradicate MDS.
I think of others whose lives have been irrevocably changed.
Amy – her husband of 2 years gone to Jesus in a flash. Wondering why God chose her to walk this difficult, unwanted path of single parenthood? I pray for her daily.
Linda – 32 years with the same company which is now bankrupt. Wondering what to do after devoting her entire work life to one employer
LK – 16 years of giving her heart, soul and amazing gifts to a team and a University, only to be unceremoniously shown the door. Wondering what the next chapter holds, and if that can be found without uprooting her whole life and family?
I get caught in my own problems too easily. I neglect to think about the challenges others face. How about you?
I know it’s not about me. I do know that. But sometimes, in the midst of doubt, it’s hard to see a purpose. I am wired to want to understand. I think if I can know “why” it will be easier. It never is, but I cling to the thought.
And thinking it’s about me isn’t always motivated by abject selfishness. Fear of failure or loss, past hurts, insecurity can all contribute to this self-consumption.
Scratching my way out of the “what about me” bag is not always easy.
How about you? Do you get frantic like you are going to suffocate?  Scratching and clawing at anything in your path?
Or crazy like a cat with something stuck on her head, running backwards to try to get away, wreaking havoc as you go?
Most of us are not completely self-absorbed. So a short pity party isn’t a big deal, right?
Wrong. At least for me.
Wrong, because this self-indulgence causes me to lose focus, and subsequently lose time. It is a demon that distracts from my goals.
This says it better:
You know a dream is like a river, Ever changin’ as it flows 
And a dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes 
Trying to learn from what’s behind you and never knowing what’s in store 
Makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores* 

I started this blog 6 days ago. Yes, there have been other tasks, other items needing my attention. But, there has also been the distraction of “what about me?”
The irony of focusing on “what about me” is that days slip away…and dreams don’t like to wait. The river of life keeps moving, with or without my attention.  After a few hours/days, I finally tear the bag from my head and some of the scenery is unfamiliar. I am further downstream, maybe against some rocks, maybe tangled in weeds along the side. Lost time, additional work.
And yet, the scene in my boat looks the same. “What about me” hasn’t helped change my situation at all.
When will I learn?
It isn’t about me. The dreams I have, the journey to make them come true, the road I travel on that journey…none of it is about me.
The good that will come from those dreams, the people I feel compelled to help, the way my family will benefit…none of it is about me.
Do I get to participate and benefit? Absolutely. But it still isn’t ABOUT me.
And when I think it is, when I think I should be able to control the river, when I fuss because the current isn’t what I want or the path is not what I anticipated, the dreams are delayed.
How about you? Do you ever get caught up in the “What about me” bag? Does it help? Do you see good results?
Maybe you will join me in being more present, more aware of others, less concerned about me me ME.
Imagine what a difference we could make.
Imagine how far our dreams might advance.
Let’s give it a try.
And I will sail my vessel ‘Til the river runs dry 
Like a bird upon the wind These waters are my sky 
I’ll never reach my destination If I never try 
So I will sail my vessel ‘Til the river runs dry*
We will talk again soon…
BP 🙂 

*Garth Brooks/Veronica Shaw