“What if the point of life has nothing to do with the creation of an ever-expanding region of control? What if the point is not to keep at bay all those people, beings, objects and emotions that we so needlessly fear? What if the point instead is to let go of that control? What if the point of life, the primary reason for existence, is to lie naked with your lover in a shady grove of trees? What if the point is to taste each other’s sweat and feel the delicate pressure of finger on chest, thigh on thigh, lip on cheek?
What if the point is to stop, then, in your slow movements together, and listen to the birdsong, to watch the dragonflies hover, to look at your lover’s face, then up at the undersides of leaves moving together in the breeze? What if the point is to invite these others into your movement, to bring trees, wind, grass, dragonflies into your family and in so doing abandon any attempt to control them? What if the point all along has been to get along, to relate, to experience things on their own terms? What if the point is to feel joy when joyous, love when loving, anger when angry, thoughtful when full of thought? What if the point from the beginning has been to simply be?”― Derrick Jensen, A Language Older Than Words
Does that scare you? The thought of having no control. The thing is even if you aren’t a control freak, the thought of having no control scares most of us. I recently had to admit that I was a control freak. I had a vision of myself as a toddler, running through a nursery, and grabbing all the toys. I was holding them so tightly that I was breaking them. I was stepping on and killing all the animals and breaking all the toys in my way (terrible, right?!) to get to what I thought I needed to control. Tears came to my eyes, as I saw that this was how I had approached most things in my life. Yeah, as a rising Leo, I pretty much thought that the sun wouldn’t rise each day without my help.
But, life, (who has a very gentle voice, by the way, which is why we don’t often hear it) said to me, “Oh honey, you’ve been acting this way because this is how you were taught. This has been your only example. It’s OK. You have been given a lot of false beliefs that you weren’t born with. But, I am here to show you a better way.”
Life showed me that my inner control freak had a closed fist. This is why it had been so hard for me to receive from people. I had been so busy trying to control things and going after what I thought should be mine, that I wasn’t allowing life to just show up. If we work on getting our own energy and thoughts in alignment (which is the only thing we can control), then we will magnetically attract the perfect situations to us. I saw a new way of being. I could just be the observer of what was happening in my life with no need to control it. Is every situation going to be perfect?
Well, yes, and no. I might attract interactions with others that aren’t necessarily fun, but I am attracting my own mirror. So, if a situation occurs in my life that rubs me the wrong way, I can look within to see where I am wounded. I can drop the anger. It’s not needed. What I need to do instead is observe what it is within me that makes me angry or makes me feel like I need to control the situation. I can look deeper to see where my fear lies. A need to control is always just a layer above a fear. A fear that if something doesn’t go a certain way, something uncomfortable will happen. That’s where the real growth is. Figuring out where my fears are, so I can dismantle them one by one, and then attract something better.
I also learned that I could be a control freak because I liked my way of doing things. I realized that everyone has their own way of doing things, and no one is wrong. Everyone is doing what is right for them. Here’s how I changed my way of thinking.
“In the dance of life, pull down your own oxygen mask first, then take a deep breath and help everyone else. They’ll thank you for it, believe me.”
― John C. Parkin, Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way
5 Ways To Dismantle Your Control Freak:
1. Look At Life As An Adventure
Remember when you were a kid? You didn’t care how things were done, which route your parents took when they were driving, or how you got to a certain place. You were just along for a ride. Do you remember how adventurous everything was? Try to get back to that space. Be in the moment and just allow. Allow what is happening around you to happen without your judgements. You will be surprised a lot more and notice a lot more scenery.
2. Have Open Hands And An Open Heart
If our hands and hearts are closed, they can’t be open to receive the good things that come our way. Everything in life will just happen without our help (yes, even the sun rising.) If you work on allowing, this will attract exactly what you need into your life (even though you may not think so at the time).
3. Listen And Learn From Other People
I have learned that everyone who shows up in my life is my teacher. Yep, everyone (including that ultra-annoying person). While I may think I know the best way, oftentimes, I realize I don’t. I am learning to shut up and listen to others and what they have to teach me.
If you observe life, you will see there is a natural flow to absolutely everything. That is the natural state of things. I now try to spend most of my time controlling my own thoughts rather than trying to control circumstances or people outside of myself which I really have no control over anyway. Just letting things flow and changing my thoughts on a situation allows life to flow effortlessly without me getting in the way.
5. Practice Not Controlling Things By Delegating And Looking For Experiences That Make You Feel Out Of Control
Let other people help you.( yeah, I know, frightening). Invite people into your life who scare you, who make you uncomfortable. Don’t run away when you start to have intense feelings that you can’t control for someone you really like. Do something that you’re not good at. Let yourself look stupid. Stop doing. Breathe. Do absolutely nothing for a day. Observe your thoughts. Listen. Color. Outside the lines. Have a beer. For breakfast. Tell someone how you feel about them. Right now. Fingerpaint. Ignore something that upsets you. Travel somewhere that isn’t comfortable. Just be. Laugh. Loudly. Surrender. Yes. All the way.
Do you want to create flow and ease in your life?
Do you want help letting go?
Do you want to stop being a control freak?
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