It is far too easy to get caught up in all the noise, chatter and distractions that come our way. Maintaining focus in the chaos is often a mighty challenge. In times of our greatest crises the power of doubt, fear, stress and anxiety has enormous force. As this adversity grips us, something as simple as finding peace and maintaining confidence can be incredibly difficult.
As I lived through the early experiences of my youngest son’s addiction, I found myself completely distracted by his every move, thought, action, and decision. I became uncontrollably focused on saving him from his illness to the point where my life began to spiral out of control alongside his. My fixation on seizing control over something I had no power over — his addiction — nearly destroyed me and my life.
Fortunately, I was able to discover what I was doing to myself before it was too late. It had gotten to the point where I was allowing my son’s decisions, actions, choices, and behaviors to define who I was to the point where I had lost focus, control, and direction in my life. Finally, I had that awakening that called attention to the wreck that had become my life and I was able to regain the control and clarity of my direction and purpose.
Life never goes as smoothly as any of us desire. Life’s events rarely go off as planned. I have come to the comfortable realization that I cannot control much or define the path of every outcome. All too often, the actions, choices, and decisions of others will simply disrupt, even destroy, what I have defined for my life — if I let them. In knowing I have limited control or ultimate influence over others, I am able to remind myself that I can only concentrate on what have complete control and influence over — my attitude and my effort.
What I focus on now is my commitment to be there for others who need me. When they are present and looking for what I have to offer in the form of love, encouragement, experience, and support, I am committed to making myself available. Regardless of what others say, think, or do to interrupt my peace, I have the strength, confidence, and focus of my commitment to others and to myself to maintain the path I am on regardless of what goes on around me. The behaviors of others do not define me; the manner in which I live my life does.
Peace comes from know who I am, what I stand for, and where I am going. When I cede control of my life to the actions of others, I lose my way. When I live in complete commitment to living my life as I have defined it — as an opportunity to be a gift to others — nothing stops, slows or distracts me. The peace I get from living in complete and focused commitment to my path keeps me on course through all challenges.