It was another warm February day in Los Angeles and I was feeling terrible, worried about my second son and ex-wife. I had gotten myself upset and frankly sick over the fact that whatever I tried to do to make them feel better failed.
I was feeling guilty of not being able to fix all the problems they were having and by 4 P.M that afternoon I was a mess.
Over and over I could not stop thinking about their problems with life. After all, they were family. . .my family, I should be able to fix them. So why was I feeling so helpless?
Why was I feeling so much guilt?
It was 7 P.M. in the east as I dialed the phone number of a good friend.
It turns out A.J. is not only a good friend but also a very smart friend and fortunately he answered.
“AJ, I’m feeling terrible and I needed to tell someone.”
“What seems to be troubling you?”
“Everything I try to do to help my ex-wife and son fails and I feel terrible and I don’t know what to do?”
“So, you’re feeling guilty?””
“Yes, guilty that you can’t fix someone else problems. Why?”
“Because, they are family and I should be able to help them.”
What A.J. said next, immediately made sense to me especially since A.J. is not religious?
“Feelings are NOT facts.”
“Feelings are not facts.”
What a Spiritual thing to say. . .not religious but Spiritual.
Did I think I had more power than God? Obviously, I did. What I needed to do and do immediately to feel better was realize there is a power greater than me involved and that I was trespassing thinking I could. . .should fix someone other than myself.
I was making my situation a lot worse by what I was FEELING and I was FEELING guilty. The FACT is, and not selfishly, the only person I can fix. . . is me.
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Jerry writes on personal growth, happiness and life, including lowering stress in the work world. His book “Life is a Joke and God Wrote it” can be ordered through www.jerrystanecki.com
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