Generally people fall into one of these two categories: starters or finishers. Either you’re great at starting things but have a hard time seeing them all the way through to the end, or you tend to drag your feet getting started but once you do there’s no question that you will complete the task. I am a finisher.
As each of my boys were born I had in mind the things I, as a mom, needed to teach them before they became full-fledged adults, things like: how to talk with people, old or young; to serve those in need without expecting something in return; how to iron and clean bathrooms; and how to manage their money. Also on the list was preparing them to serve LDS missions.
So, what happens when a “finisher” can’t finish the job?!? Am I doomed to perpetually feeling “undone” since whether or not my son serves a mission is really out of my control? Is it possible that this “finisher” can ever feel peace without everything packaged nicely and tied up with a pretty bow?
The ability to let go of the things you don’t have control over (like the decisions other people get to make) is a gift you can give yourself. It’s not about white-knuckling your way with positive thinking; rather, it’s about taking a step back and evaluating what it is you believe and finding out if it’s really true. Believing my son had to serve a mission in order for me to “finish” my mothering (before he became an adult) didn’t serve me very well. I came to understand that giving my best efforts is enough even if the results aren’t what I had hoped for. This allows me to love my son with my whole heart instead of feeling gypped because things didn’t work out the way I always thought they would.
If you’re not quite sure how to bring peace into your own life, the first step is to take a moment to find out what you believe about your situation, and then ask yourself, “Is this really true?” Then think about how you react when you believe that. Who would you be with that thought or belief? Once you’ve pondered these questions, your mind will be open to some other possibilities. Take some time to consider them.
There really can be peace ~ even for finishers ~ when life doesn’t continue unfolding the way you had planned. Truly, there is.