This morning I came up against some feelings that I had been avoiding or ignoring or just pushing aside. The moment offered me a first chance at examining where I am, where I might want to be, and what I am willing to do to try to get there.

Are there those folks in your life that make you feel like you are walking on eggshells? Or someone that you know absolutely must have complete control or there will be fireworks? Yeah – I suspect you know them. I certainly do.

And so, I’m looking again at where I begin (and the other ends) – where the boundaries are and trying to find the real issues. At some level I have to respect the other person’s need for control. At some level I also have to accept the fact that it is the other person’s issue and only work on the part that I own.

OK – so much for generalizing. It was suggested that I could work as a two-person team with someone else. My gut screamed “Not on your life!” When that happens, I have to figure out why. I came up with: 1) I really hate conflict 2) There would be conflict in this situation 3) I don’t want to cave on something I care deeply about 4) This could really wind up being a turf war 5) The other person probably doesn’t even realize that I am affected this way 6) Is it possible for me to let God be in control and not fight this battle all by myself? 7) Maybe not – if possible, I’ll pass on this cup, Lord, thank you very much.

There’s a lot of comfort in just having the discussion with myself. And then having the discussion with a trusted friend. And, then having the discussion with Jesus. Even if I haven’t reached a resolution, I’ve at least looked face-to-face with the situation, and I can start to let go a bit.

It seems I’ll be doing my most recent notable penance for the rest of my life. That would be the one where I am to stay with the problem, and hold within me the opposites that seem irreconcilable.