February 7, 2006

Control Freak or Freakishly in Control?

I have been thinking a lot about my need to be in control of everything. It is a serious issue and one that I need to deal with appropriately. I am not sure if I will ever successfully get a handle on my need to be in control, but I certainly feel like I need to try for my own sake and that of my family.

It is really funny how certain things tend to manifest themselves the more you think about them. For example, I have been thinking about my need for control and lately every email I get, every post I read (from my group lists), every phone call, seems to have something to do with my need for control. I am sure it is KISMET or FATE (really, it is just the Lord helping me to understand myself and then accept my flaws and move on). It annoys me in some ways and in other ways it reminds me that there really is a connecting force out there, stringing the events and experiences of my life together for all the world to see.

Ok, so I am rambling on a bit. The point is that I have been thinking about being in 'control' and trying to understand why I do it and how to let things (fill in the _____ blank) go. So today, while making breakfast, I started to put some ideas together. This is what I have come up with and I am not sure if it actually makes sense but for now, it seems to give some impetus to why I am feeling the way I am.

Middle English controllen, from Anglo-Norman contreroller, from Medieval Latin contrrotulre, to check by duplicate register, from contrrotulus, duplicate register : Latin contr-, contra- + Latin rotulus, roll, diminutive of rota, wheel; see ret- in Indo-European Roots.

According to the dictionary, the word control when used as a verb can have several meanings. For me, when I think of control, I think of my need to "hold in restraint or to hold in check" something, anything, or mostly everything in my life. It is the sense of losing control that I fear the most and that I struggle to avoid (at all costs).

Once I started to think in these terms, I realized that my need to control or hold in check is really an attempt on my part to keep my life from 'unfolding and expanding." In the "expanding universe theory" the universe as we know it is not finite but is forever changing, forever growing, forever morphing into something new and exciting. I know this is not really biblical, per se, because we tend to think biblically in very finite terms. But really if we give God the credit that is due HIM, the truth is that the universe is infinite. God is infinite power, infinite authority, infinite understanding, infinite compassion...the list goes on. Therefore, the universe itself would follow suit and be infinite.

My life unfolds before me and I have absolutely no control over it. I didn't choose the day I was born nor will I know the day I will die. I do not know what will happen tommorrow or the next minute in my day. It is unknown, it is uncontrollable, and it laced with myriads of infinite possibilities (both good and bad).

I have determined to stop trying to control the infinite.

There are just some things in life that are beyond my control. No matter how much I wish I could control them, the truth is, the reality is, that they are not MINE to control. They are out of my perview and they are not my responsbility. They belong to other people, but mostly they belong to God. Jesus was correct when he said we were to "render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar's and render unto God, that which is God's."

Number one in this category is my need to control other people: their feelings towards me, their attitudes about me or my life, and their behavior (the good, the bad or the ugly).

I have determined to control only those things which are under my perview and within my ability to control

This deals with everything that legitimately is within my control: from my personal habits to my time, from my goals to my dreams and aspirations, as well as my relationships with other people (my side only). Most important is my attitude and my spiritual development (my side only).

I have determined to compromise when necessary to restore balance and control

This is an interesting issue because there are times when we are faced with choices that require compromise. Sometimes we choose not to compromise and must therefore accept that we cannot control the outcome. Othertimes, we can compromise and work towards an equiable solution (ex. dealing with other people).

more in the next post...

1 comment:

Dawn ; ) said...

Oh girl are you writing about me! ;) This has been most of my frustration of late and I am so glad that I am not alone. Thank you, again, for giving me food for thought as I seek to control what is truly mine in the first place ~ ME!

Thanks.