Being Controlled by Being ‘In Control’

I am a person who likes to have a plan. I like efficiency and cleanliness. “A place for everything, and everything in its place”, as they say. I usually think that having everything clean, organized, and well planned will make me feel “in control”, and therefore safe and happy… but in reality, it DOESN’T. In reality, I often become uptight about “the plan” and end up becoming very upset if (and when) things don’t work out exactly as I think they should. When my husband leaves a dirty dish in the office, it is a travesty. When I am running late for a casual lunch with a friend, the world is surely about to end.

Today while taking a walk, I was planning out how when I got home, first I would clean the dishes while Brian watched the baby, then make a specific dinner, and so on. But I suddenly realized that this kind of thinking (which I often do) doesn’t add to my happiness, or even make things happen more efficiently. In fact, this kind of thinking just makes me rigid and less able to handle change. I squeeze myself around the thoughts of “it NEEDS to be this way” and I become a prisoner. So I said to myself: “I release you”. And it felt pretty good. In that moment, I was freeing myself from the NEED to know how the rest of my day would turn out. I was not giving up control– I was refusing to BE controlled by my thoughts!

Of course, this is something that you need to do repeatedly, in every new moment, for it to make any real difference at all. So I kept saying it all evening: “I release you!”, while unclenching myself from whatever new thought I had decided was important in that moment. And remarkably, the dishes still got washed, dinner still got made, the baby still got fed + washed + put to bed. Everything that needed to happen happened the way it needed to happen. I did not have to plan the sequence out beforehand. I did not have to be in control of the details. Certain things happened that I would have normally interpreted as happening “wrong”, but I did not mind– I was having an amazing time!

I am still a person who likes cleanliness, and efficiency, and plans. I am still a person who writes lists that reference my OTHER lists. But in this moment, I am realizing more deeply that I can DO all of that with joy instead of rigidity!

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About Tikva Adler

Hello! My name is Tikva Adler, a full-time mom, nanny, and artist. This blog is a place for me to share my adventures in consciousness and awesomeness. Being of the baby-wearing, co-sleeping, hula-hooping, tree-hugging, moonlight-dancing, paint-splattered sort, my advice and stories tend to revolve around those types of themes. Stay tuned!

Posted on June 9, 2011, in awareness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is TOTALLY awesome that you were able to become aware of this and actually do something about it to help yourself grow healthier and freer in this way. This is wisdom we all need. Thanks!

  2. I’m doing the same thing you did in trying to control everything and making plans and freaking out when my plans don’t happen. Now I’ll have to release myself. I want to enjoy my life and that won’t happen if I try to control it so much.

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