Most of us are Control Freaks! Why would we not want to control other people and what they do, how things turn out, and just generally well, run the whole universe?! After all we DO know best! This may be a slight exaggeration, but can you relate to any of it? If you are like many people who like to control, you are bright, intelligent, and know what you want in and from life. There are some great and some not so great things about being a control freak, and a great deal rests on the who and what we are trying to control.
Being in control is great for things like driving a car, but have you noticed what happens when you try to control another person?
They tend to resist and react and do exactly the opposite of what we want them to do. This seems to occur even if our desires are more logical than theirs. It doesn’t make sense! No, it doesn’t! However, what we often tend to forget is how WE react when someone is trying to control us! If someone is trying to control you, do you become docile and accept their control , or do you go into “you can’t make me” mode? Gary Douglas often talks about motivating a humanoid through telling them they can’t do something. This is a variation of the “you can’t make me” only it’s the “Oh yeah – watch me do that!”. He also talks about how trying to control the people in Access would be like trying to trying to heard kittens! Does any of that sound familiar to you?
The other difficulty with trying to control another is that it is not honoring of them. Trying to control another is really saying, from a place of superiority, “I know what’s best for you”. Can we really know what’s best for another? What if we all stepped into honoring others by not trying to control them or their actions but by being in allowance of their choices and what ever they are choosing? Does that feel lighter to you? Not only does allowance honor the other person but it gets you off the hook of being responsible for their lives an actions! That can be such a relief and free you to spend your time and energy to create what YOU would like to create in your life! What if you didn’t have to be the policeman of the universe? How much more ease could you have in your life?
For most of us, when we are not trying to control other people, we are trying to control the outcome of certain situations. Perhaps you are going for a job that’s been advertised as a junior executive position. You know you would be great for the job, so you set you intentions on getting that junior executive position. You are determined to have that outcome, and maybe you even achieve it, yet there’s a possibility that by working so hard to control the outcome you have actually limited what was possible for you! What if there was another, more senior executive position available that you might have gotten had you not been so invested in the junior position? When we are very vested in any outcome we cut off hundreds and thousands of possible outcomes that could be even better! Another trap of being vested in an outcome is that we can judge ourselves harshly if we don’t achieve it?
Have you ever decided on an outcome then decided you were a failure when you it didn’t turn out the way you had planned? There was a woman who had wanted to move to another state for a long time. Suddenly, there was a great opportunity to do so. A friend of hers had bough a house in the area and was happy for the woman to come and live in the spare bedroom. The woman culled, packed, cancelled services and cleaned and finally made the move she had been waiting years to make. The only difficulty was, when she got to her friends house, (which was way out in the country) she found that there were numerous problems, including that there wasn’t going to be any electricity for three weeks! With that, her “answer” to moving to this new state began to unravel. Now at this point she could have become very upset and begun blaming herself or others.
Fortunately, she had done enough Access to begin to ask questions. Here are some questions she asked, that you can ask too when things don’t turn out the way you think they should: What’s right about this I’m not getting? How does it get any better than this? What’s possible here that’s beyond anything I’ve ever imagined? She was not looking for answers so much as an energetic shift. Because she had no other place to live, she checked into a hotel and began asking more questions. What living environment would actually work for me? What can I be or do to bring my living situation to fruition with total ease?
What one step can I take today that would create more space and ease with this? The end result was that she found a place in town, that was actually much more suited to her. It still had a country feel but was within walking distance of wonderful restaurants and galleries as well as great walking trails. The point of this was that what she had decided was the desired outcome and the end point was really only a stepping stone to what was ultimately a much more expansive living situation for her. If you’ve ever judged that you failed to create a desired outcome, please ask more questions! It may have only been a stepping stone or an outcome that showed you another direction or possibility.
Staying open and asking questions can ease almost any situation that we have tried to control. Have you ever noticed the energy that goes along with trying to control? Is it expansive or contractive? Most people find it to be very dense and contractive. Perhaps not the best energy to try to create from! Has trying to control other people and situations actually ever worked out well for you? Let’s look at one more example: Have you ever known a woman or man who tried to control another into liking or loving them? It looks sad form the outside because the person has to stop being themselves and twist themselves into a pretzel to try to hook the other person. Does it ever work out? No. It’s such a devaluing and diminishment of self that it can only end up being destructive to all concerned.
Giving up control can seem scary, yet it can yield much greater results than the tight attempt at control that most of us try to do. Part of the willingness to let go of control comes from two things: First, the awareness that the universe has your back, and if you are willing to receive, she will often give you more that you’ve even asked for, and secondly, that you can trust yourself to know what to do with anything that shows up. (hint – always ask lots of questions!). Letting go of control does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. Why not try letting go of one or two outcomes and see what shows up? What if you were to let go of tying to get a partner or friend or child to behave in a certain way? What might that create? Are you willing to have a bigger, greater and more fun life? Letting go of some area of control in your life might be a great first step!