From a forum post that I wrote in 2002(All Sermons on One Thread)-edited for flow, continuity, and acronyms.
This concerns the first, and most important of Life’s Lessons.
The life’s lessons you are to learn out of this are simple ones, but hard to put into action.
These involve the Control Lessons, first and foremost.
The rule of thumb to remember is the only person you can control in this life is YOU, not anyone else-and change must begin within before a situation changes without.
That means ALL control you THINK you have must be released: physical, spiritual-everything.
The mid-life spouse, no matter how erratic he/she is acting, is NOT a child, and does NOT need help-they must be allowed to work this out on their own and make decisions accordingly.
I know you think you are helping if you try to show them what you perceive they are doing wrong, but they will see it as CONTROL, and run further away.
You have to learn to separate the behavior from the person, and set boundaries as to what you will and won’t accept, taking care of YOU in the process.
Focusing on what the mid-life spouse is or is not doing is NOT helping YOU-it is only dragging you down further and further, and you WILL hit rock-bottom and have a nervous breakdown, worrying about things you CANNOT and DO NOT have control over.
You must learn, also to STAY CALM in conflict-the more emotional power you give a situation, the worse it can escalate. Tap into the inner strength you KNOW is there and use it to your advantage.
You must face Childhood Wounds and heal them, whatever those may be, and they will be found on your journey to find YOU. That means exploring your childhood, looking at the patterns YOU are repeating-and change your behavior accordingly-that is part of your growth.
Remember no one does anything to YOU-they do it to THEMSELVES, as this has NOTHING to do with you, and everything to do with THEM.
IF you don’t like a situation, CHANGE IT-taking the steps necessary to do so. Each individual is different and it may take a combination of things to achieve this change.
Learn that happiness, self-validation, self-esteem etc comes from WITHIN you, and is NOT found in outside factors-NO ONE can make you “complete”. You must learn to find these things WITHIN.
Then, and only then will True Love be born-you will need because you love, not love because you need.
Accepting yourself is extremely important as we must live with ourselves for the rest of our lives, and we know deep within our hearts what we can and cannot live with.
We must “let go” no matter how painful that might be. It is through the giving of this freedom, we may regain our mid-life spouse. Because we will NEVER own anyone, but OURSELVES.
That inner peace we are searching for CAN be attained through the “letting go” totally-it is the peace we can have WITHIN the storm.
And until we reach that point, we will always be confused-it is through the clearing of our mind that the answers will come from the place they have always been–within ourselves.
There are NO answers to be found outside of us, otherwise.
We can and must trust ourselves to do the right thing at all times, trusting in the Lord to guide our feet along this journey.
And understand that no matter what happens, we WILL be all right.