Am I a control freak? This is the question I have been asking myself a lot lately. Mainly because in nearly every aspect of my life at the moment I do not feel as though I have any control. This includes work, personal, body (especially my foot), home and friendship/relationship.
So, the big question is “What am I afraid will happen if I let go of control?”
I guess I have the usual quandary – I can try and obtain control or I can surrender. By surrendering I am not choosing the easy option in fact I am choosing to just let the cards be dealt and patiently wait. Surrender literally means to stop fighting. It does not mean I am being a bystander in my life, it just means I am letting go of my need to orchestrate the situation.
I sometimes feel that the deepest need I have is for a sense of control. When I feel out of control, I experience a powerful and uncomfortable tension in my life. However, I’ve noticed that things go much more smoothly when I let go of this control—when I allow them to happen instead of making them happen. I believe that the universe does have a plan but sometimes I just don’t have the patience to wait.
Unfortunately last week I let my mind run the show where I should have trusted my heart and intuition. I understand that it is important to practice ways of getting outside of our thoughts and just allow them to be what they are; thoughts. Our minds are beautiful machines, but they are not all that we are. Last week I struggled to use my mind as a tool to help and support me and instead allowed it to over power and hurt me. My fear of being out of control was forcing my mind to make decisions just to regain control instead of thinking with my heart.
Below are some tools I found useful:
This is a great affirmation to say in front of the mirror:
I trust that everything will happen as it is intended to.
I honour and love myself.
There is no need to control; I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given so far.
Another great idea that works for me is reaching out to someone I value and trust, and talk about how I am feeling.
This is a great little visualisation I use if I become aware that I’m in control mode. I imagine that I’m in a small boat paddling upstream, against the current. It’s hard. It’s a fight. My vision gets very narrow and focused, my breath is shallow, adrenaline is pumping and my heart rate increases.When I choose to let go and surrender, I visualise the boat turning around, me dropping the oars, and floating downstream. Sounds gorgeous doesn’t it? Don’t get me wrong I am not just letting life wash over me. I am an active participant in my life but I need to recognise what parts require my control and what parts just need my utmost surrender.
These may seem like simple solutions but they are so easy to forget when I feel as though I am spiralling out of control and desperately wanting to regain this illusion of control. I’m still an amateur but that is okay.
Ironically, the one decision I have control over is my ability to relinquish my need for control. So “Am I willing to let go of control?” Letting go of control is about loosening our grip, allowing ourselves to be supported and trusting that things will turn out as they are meant to. Is this easy? Not always, although it can be.
This week as I become more skilled in letting go of control I hope to release and transform a good amount of unnecessary stress, worry, and anxiety from my life, my work and my relationships. I can enjoy each moment and be grateful for everything I have and understand that the truth is that I don’t have control.