Are you a control freak? I ask with the utmost compassion because I have…um…some issues with control… wanting it, coveting it, demanding it, and trying to manage it.
I tell myself my need for control comes from a good place. “I want to help people.” But does it really? Um…yes and mostly no!! So when does control come up the most in relationships and with our kiddos? When they are flippin the hell out and we’re trying to fix the problem. But should we?
What does fixing say to others?
- Stop feeling/doing that
- That’s not ok
- You’re not ok
- I don’t like that
- I don’t accept you/this
- You’re feelings/actions make me uncomfortable
Offering to fix other people’s feelings, issues, problems, life is also attempting to offer unsolicited advice…and what does that feel like?
- You don’t know what’s best for you
- I’m better at life than you
- I know what’s best for you
- You can’t be trusted to make decisions
- You’ll fail or make mistakes
- Failure and mistakes are a bad thing
Here’s the deal- we don’t know what’s best for someone else. And we never really have control over other people. Horrible, right?
Sometimes, yes! It can feel super horrible when we try to control others and it doesn’t go the way we want, which is most times for me!
I literally married a man who cannot be controlled. After my high school love I didn’t really believe in soul mates anymore because some fairytale romance of love at first sight seemed ridiculous when you consider how many people live in the world and pure odds of at least 20 or more people could be plenty compatible with me.
BUT- if your definition of soul mates or twin flames is about finding the person who pushed your soul to grow… than I have found my soul mate. We push each other, purely through our own junk, to grow and grow and grow. It’s not all bad. I can’t believe I still like him after 6 years of marriage and almost 9 years together but that helps too! But it’s not been easy and man do I try to control him.
Does it work? Never. Not ever. No.
Do I stop trying? Um…I’m still worked on it. But what does my trying to fix him or control him say to him?
I don’t ever want my husband to think that I don’t accept him for who he is. I don’t want him to think that what he feels or goes through isn’t ok or that he’s not ok. I want to love him through not make it all go away. It’s not easy, especially when another person’s stuff effects your stuff. Sometimes I want to put a piece of tape down in our home and say keep your stuff out of my stuff….but that doesn’t work in a marriage or in a family. Or in life.
Life is messy!
So I recognize when I’m feeling anxious and I want to start meddling in someone else’s life. Or when a dear friend comes to me to cry and vent and I jump into fixing their problems with unsolicited solutions, or when my child feels broken hearted about something I deem insignificant and I want to brush it aside….
Sometimes I recognize it before I respond (big pat on the back), sometimes it’s while I’m in the middle of it and I see myself spinning out, and sometimes it’s after I’ve already hurt someone with my controlling or minimizing actions.
I’m learning and I’m human. I’m also hopeful. The more pauses I can find before I react the less I stick my nose where it doesn’t belong.
So is it horrible? The lack of control thing?
Actually, it’s a huge relief!!
We are not in control. It’s not possible. And therefore I can concentrate on just hanging out and being available if someone needs me- gives me so much more time to focus on my own life.