Focus on This, not That

Lately, I’ve had a laser focus on what I can control versus what I cannot.

See, up to this point, I realized that I am a person who likes to have control over my situation AND over other people’s actions and emotions.

Wow. Hearing myself say those words sounds a little cult-like, but that’s my truth, people! 

I believe that within the past few months, after enduring a very difficult season of patience and faith, God taught me a valuable lesson:

God already gave us the authority to control certain aspects of our life, while leaving the rest for Him to control. 

In other words, as children of the most high God, we need to fix our focus.  It’s quite common for us to only zero in on the things we can’t do anything about. Here are just a few that worry our minds regularly:

  • the way one reacts to our opinions, ideas, or most vulnerable moments
  • whether or not someone chooses to be in a relationship with us (I’m referring to family members, friends, mentors, and romantically here)
  • many of the circumstances we experience

When we focus on these things, we can easily slip into a negative emotional state. It’s because we are simply chasing the wind, hoping it will cease for us.  Think about it: How often are you disappointed/upset about the same thing over and over? You keep trying to change it, but the reality is that you can’t.

Instead, we need to focus on the things that God has given us control over.  For me, I had to come to the understanding that God gave me full authority over my emotions and my health. That means that while I cannot control others, I certainly can control how I react to them.

When I realized that the way I was handling my emotions was also affecting my health, it made even more sense to shift my focus.  (I could go deeper than that, but I’ll save it for another post.)

Once I chose to spend my energy on what I could control, it allowed God to handle everything else, and I do mean everything else.

There’s an incomparable peace in knowing that God’s got it all taken care of.

All in all, it’s up to us to fix our focus.  Why navigate this world by focusing on what we were never meant to focus on? If we want that type of incomparable peace that only God can give, we have to let Him lead where He leads while we focus on ourselves.

 

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Now it’s your turn.  What are some things you had to stop fighting to control? What do you realize you have to focus your attention on instead? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Elana Cole is a writer and professional coach who is passionate about helping others in their personal journeys towards a more beautiful life. She is the author of "The Midnight Experience" and creator of Empowered Narrative, a blog about transforming the way you live and love.

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