The need to be in control

February 16, 2015 Sandra Dawes

I never used to think I was controlling. I’ve never felt like I was the type of person who could exercise much influenceRecovering-Control-Freak over people much less control them in any way. It was maybe 5 or 6 years ago that a conversation with someone who didn’t know me at all put things into perspective. We had mutual friends and we were talking about different modes of transportation. I made the comment that I never sleep in a moving vehicle of any kind. My reasoning was that I need to be aware of what’s going on at all times. That’s when someone said, “Oh, so you’re a control freak.”

I don’t know if that alone defined me as a control freak, but it did make me reflect. I came to the realization that while there was a lot in my life that I didn’t feel I had control over, the things I could control, I could get obsessive about. Even knowing that I didn’t have control in certain situations didn’t stop me from worrying and stressing about outcomes. I didn’t like surprises, last-minute changes in plans or people who couldn’t commit to doing things they said they would.

My desire to be in control of everything, to be able to predict outcomes or at least do what I can to get the outcome I wanted, came from not understanding, or believing that everything happens for a reason. You can’t trust in God, the universe, a higher power – however you refer to creator, and still feel the need to be in control. If, as one of Louise Hay’s positive affirmations states: “everything is happening for my higher good”, why do we still get upset, disappointed, angered when things don’t happen the way that we want them to?

I think that it’s because we take it personally when things don’t work out the way we want. We think we’re being punished. That karma really is a vengeful wench and she’s coming back to haunt us for sins we don’t even remember. Do we get what we put out into the universe? Of course we do! We definitely have control over our actions, so if we want better, we have to do better. What I’ve come to realize is that it isn’t always about me (surprise!). The fact that things didn’t happen the way I wanted to may not have anything to do with me in that moment. Everything happens for my higher good. I don’t think that translates into fulfilling my selfish wants and needs, but benefits me in a holistic sense; bigger than just anything that would bring me as an individual happiness.

Attempting to be in control all of the time is exhausting and frustrating. There are always going to be things that are out of our sphere of influence – the weather, other people’s actions and reactions, the stock market, just to name a few. The only things you do have control over are your actions, thoughts and emotions. Focus on those things and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the weight that is lifted off your shoulders. I know I was! ♥

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