Today could be an awful day for a set of parents who just learned that their child’s spouse has decided to leave the marriage and take their child’s children away. A beautiful young family that tragically is on the verge of destruction because of choices made…..and not made.
It would be easy for this child and their parents to be angry, sad or even distraught. They could pass the blame for these feelings upon the shoulders of the spouse who has made this choice to end the marriage. The child has had their entire life pulled out from underneath them. No lovely children to come home to, to play with and help with their homework. No children to put their arms around their parent’s neck and say, “I love you.” To feel worthless as a human being. To be uncertain of the future and to second guess the past.
But that would dishonor the gift and make it useless.
Everyone owns this gift. It’s not just given to a select few. This gift is the key to a happy life. The key to creating abundance. To building trusting and lasting relationships with others. This gift heals human pain and magnifies happiness and exhilaration.
The gift I’m referring to is the gift of “free will” or some call it “agency.” The gift of being able to make choices for ourselves. To think for ourselves. To create our beliefs, whether they are right or wrong. Whether they produce thoughts and actions that are real or make-believe. This gift produced the freedoms in our US Constitution of freedom of speech and religion. The freedom to either pursue happiness or not. This gift is what wars are fought over when a person or nation feels compelled to control this gift in human beings.
When others pass blame for their bad feelings on another human being the blame disregards this gift and it’s power to heal. Blame suggests that a person believes that others control them. Those who say, “You don’t make me happy” will probably never be happy with another either because happiness is only by using the gift and choosing happiness for ourselves.
I’ve often, when asked to help a person who is suffering, used the analogy of looking in a mirror and fixing that person first and how all their other problems amazingly go away. The challenges they face may still exist but the opportunity to overcome and learn from them now becomes an important part of life, worthy to be embraced, instead of hiding from.
Using this gift fully renders powerless the actions of another person’s words, actions or choices.
These parents have chosen to love their child’s spouse more who has made this horrible choice. They have more love for their child and are using their wisdom to point the child in the right direction.
These parent’s grandchildren mean everything to them. They have empathy for how terrified they are now. They also recognize that they lack the control to really do anything about it, at least for now. These parents recognize how God’s will must play out and to accept it.
Their child is in tremendous pain now as the child flies home very uncertain what to do next. The parents also honor the gift almost as much as life itself. They know that the answer to heal the pain their child is facing is in using the gift. Their child must choose to accept that which isn’t controllable. To choose to make the best of the situation. To choose to begin to build a better self and to love the children more. To choose to accept self and recognize that they are a good person, a great parent and willing to forgive and build a better marriage. To choose to serve others and be an example of courage and faith. To choose to testify of God and Christ and to love and trust again.
We are only able to choose our beliefs, thoughts and actions. We are not able to choose their results or escape their consequences.
I’m thankful for these parents. I’ve known them for many years. They are praying for their child. They are praying for their child’s spouse. They are praying for their grandchildren. They are praying for God’s will to be done.
Honor the gift and choose to be great. Choose to be self-reliant. Choose to be happy just like these parents.