Love Happens, stars Jennifer Aniston & Aaron Eckhart. It has chick-flick all over it; however it also has a message which can be applicable to each of our lives.
Eckhart portrays a conflicted, man who’s secretly grieving over the loss of his wife and coping with Grey Goose Vodka and being a workaholic.
The contrast between Burke's public and private personas is intriguing in that he’s publicly 'A-OK!' – In fact he's making a fortune marketing self-help books and nationwide tours aimed at aiding the bereaved.
This movie got me thinking of the areas of my life that “everyone else” considers I’m A-OK, when really it’s furthest from the truth. I recalled my fathers’ death. I knew he always loved me, yet didn’t intend to care about me in ways which were meaningful to me.
This mismatch caused me to do the majority of work in our relationship and subsequently several other meaningful relationships. The internal tape that played was “control things because you’re good at it; control things because no one else will get it taken care of perfectly like I can; control things because you have the money in which to do so; control things because you know _______ doesn’t do well with stuff like this, et al.”
Subconsciously I was setting myself up to take a huge fall or burnout at the very least. However, I didn’t count the opportunity cost of choosing to change my life. You see I was too busy being necessary, resourceful and “the fixer.”
My fathers’ death was the straw which broke the camels back. When I wanted to control things the least, and grieve…there was no room in which to do so. Be it real or imagined on my part, the result was the same.
I found myself grieving the fact I was never allowed to be a child, that my father was never intentional toward me in ways that I could concretely sense it & that I was taking the lead on everything when he’d contributed to countless helpless peoples lives that were now NOWHERE to be FOUND to either comfort me or help with the celebration of his life.
A subconscious bitterness crept in and birthed a recovery that I never THOUGHT was necessary. Things were un-expectantly put in place forcing me to come to the end of myself. It’s from this Damascus experience that I no longer choose to control things. I made the quality decision to begin sharing the truth with others in a respectful way that accounted for both us…especially the often forgotten ME.
Now I ask and answer the difficult questions without delay or prolonged concern about pride or ego. I recognize that I’m no longer the God of my life or anyone else’s.
For every challenge on the windshield of my life, my role is to determine MY RESPONSIBILITY and go after addressing it as soon as humanly possible. The place I’m still growing is not internally responding to “other people’s stuff which has nothing to do with me…no matter how much they try to convince me otherwise.”
A life-changing lesson is learning how to let go. It’s actually mastered in the moment-by-moment decision to let go, rather than looking at it from the standpoint of all being accomplished by one defining moment.
Life is full of setbacks & none of us will change overnight or are able to do it alone. We have to have a determination that’s steadfast and unyielding. I like to think of it as a no matter what type of functioning. It’s in the no matter what’s of life that you will get past your setbacks, encourage yourself to keep going and change how you ultimately see yourself.
As you change how you see yourself, you’ll change how you see others.
Will you join the CHANGE revolution? Share your victories, setbacks and encouragement strategies with us.
To your best life,