Some may say that I am a control freak. I mention control a lot, and by my actions sometimes, I may come across as someone who is trying to keep things in check. Yes, there was once upon a time where I did try to control every aspect of my life, and the label would have fit me well. Once upon a time, I was in a lot of deep emotional pain, and the only way that I knew then to protect myself was to control the situation.
When we are under a lot of stress or are dealing with a lot of emotional upheavals, we tend to want to keep the situations exterior to us under control. Having that sense of control of the situation outside of our minds protects us from having to emotionally react inside of them. Humans are the only species that allow their intelligence to override their instincts. We believe that we can fix a threat to us before it ever begins to occur.
The problem is, this keeps us from living in the moment.
We are only trying to protect ourselves.
So many of us live in constant anxiety trying to eliminate threats that never materialize. This overburdened mindset causes us much mental, physical and social pain. The ironic thing is that this new pain is only compounding the initial pain we are trying to avoid. This cycle of pain eventually leads to disease of not only the mind but of the body and if severe enough, can cause premature death. There is even scientific proof that unresolved, compounded pain from previous trauma can affect your DNA and in turn, this mutated DNA can be passed down to your children. This exposes them to be more susceptible to anxiety and mental health problems in their lifetime.
I had spent so much wasted time trying to control my situation and the situation of others that I had grown so tired, I bordered on depression. Life becomes so overwhelmingly complicated when on every avenue you look, there are fires to put out, situations to rectify all to keep them from affecting me, preventing me from reacting. I knew my reactions were raw, angry and bitter, so I tried to fix the world around me so that they wouldn’t see them. But I wasn’t a hero, I was only doing it to protect myself.
I know I harp on this so much in my blogs, but it is my life’s mission. We cannot control the situation, we can only control our reaction to it. It takes a lot of mindful practice to indeed lead your life this way, and you do face a lot of pain that you had been protecting. It is a messy journey, and it takes a toll on your relationships, but not quite the same damage as trying to control them once did. When you can honestly trust in yourself that you are in control of your reaction, then there is no situation in front of you that you cannot handle and frankly, you don’t even care.
Never give up control over your reaction to a situation. Instead, always give up control over the situation. You have no right believing that you can control the future.
One thought on “Control Freak”
Great article Jeff! Thank you.