What Control Really Looks Like & How to Deal
I used to think I only tried to control the important things in my life. Like finishing my degree, getting a good career, and making decisions at work etc. I would literally argue with someone if they I thought I was control freak outside of work. Like the things at work were under my complete control and I was aware of that. And if anyone tried to rain on my parade of how I ran things at work, the wrath of Angela would begin. But that was the only place I tried to control things.
Any of that sound familiar? Or resonates with you? What if I told you that’s only one aspect of control! Oh yeah! Some of us truly believe that control only has face value features (as I like to call them) and that’s not true. By face value I mean things that are obviously controlled. Think of micromanagement.
I am going to provide some examples that aren’t so obvious:
Ever wish your partner would do things without you having to say those things? That’s a form of control. You’re probably thinking: how? It’s a form of control because you think people should know exactly what you want and need, even though you haven’t expressed your wants or needs. You think that people should operate at the same level as you. That’s control.
Maybe you get into an argument with your partner and you start freaking out about something. Not only have you mostly likely been triggered but later on when you start thinking crazy thoughts like f*ck that guy and I will just leave and he doesn’t know who he’s talking to! That’s control. You trying to keep power over the situation after it’s over.
Most of our control actually comes from the past events we haven’t healed from. We continue to play the victim trying to control everything and everyone around us! Omgosh! I know. I started to work with a spiritual coach, Johanna Buckardt and when she told me something along those lines. I was like whatever! There’s no way that my past still controls me like that! Wrong! As I learned in many lessons. Some of those lessons you can actually read in these blogs: Why Being Pregnant Has Turned My World Upside Down and One of the Most Important Lessons I’ve Learned in My Life. And in these blogs I learned I’m truly not in control of a damn thing that’s happening and my past has put me in the position I’m in now. I also learned my crazy looping thoughts were things I was trying to control. Which mostly had to do with my pregnancy and my ex. Hypothetical craziness would reoccur in my mind with him and what could possibly happen with our daughter because I wanted to assert my “power”. I wanted to show him who was really in charge, who really was in control. And the reality? Neither one of us really are.
So you might be freaking out thinking if we don’t control anything there must be something that I can grasp onto to make me feel better. And there is.
You control your reactions to things that happen. When the car cuts you off on the freeway you control whether or not you flip that guy off or cuss up a storm.
You control whether you want to continue to pick a fight with your partner because you’re really speaking and fighting out of fear.
You control whether or not you’re vulnerable with someone.
You may not have complete control over how you feel, but you do have control over what you do with those emotions. And if you want more insights on learning to accept your emotions check out this blog here! It’s a little guide if you need some help with that.
You might be thinking what I am supposed to do from here? Since control is literally everything that I try to do. First don’t freak out about it. It’s okay! We all have a little control freak in us. Actually, you wanting to freak out about it, is a sign of you wanting to control that you don’t have any control
I am going to provide you some steps on learning to let go of the control and just be.
Learn to accept that you’re really not in control. And whatever is in control has your back. This really doesn’t matter if you believe in God or the Universe or maybe even nothing. The reality is something is up there working in our best interest to give us the best possible lives we can ask for. Our job is to trust and have faith in whatever that might be. I know it’s really hard to have faith and trust in something you can’t see or touch or quite understand. But the reality is, the most beautiful things to believe in are the things you can’t explain. If this is something you really just can’t wrap your head around then ask for signs. Ask for things so that you know something is really working in your favor. You can ask to see butterflies or some kind of sign that’s special to you. You’ll see the signs if you’re open to them. Even when suffering takes place in your life those events are there to teach a lesson. They have a purpose. Trust in that but you also have to be willing to see those lessons.
Don’t vocalize your emotions until you’ve processed them. This can be hard especially if you’re pregnant! Sometimes those bad boys just roll off your tongue. As I have learned over and over most of my emotions are irrelevant and some of them fear based. I suggest writing in a journal about your emotions and what’s going on. It helps you process, helps you calm down, and it will help you see your feelings for what they really mean. Which really could have nothing to do with the situation at hand. If you’re interested in more on journaling about your emotions, check out this blog here.
Start addressing your past. Let me tell you, this one isn’t pretty and it’s an emotional roller coaster. But it’s worth it! It has been every time I’ve addressed my past. Especially recently. Like I mentioned before I started shadow work with Johanna and it’s been truly amazing. Feel free to speak to her about it, if you’re truly interested. If you can’t do that or don’t want to do that, check out this book. It’s about unlocking your hidden power in your gene keys! Sounds a little crazy, I know. It really does help you heal and I highly recommend it. If that doesn’t work for you either, then get a journal and start writing about your day. When you’re ready, start asking yourself questions like why did I do that? Why did I say that? Why am I holding on to it? You will lead to the past eventually. If you’re willing to go there. This is how I started my self-healing journey. You may not peal back all the layers, but it’s certainly a start. It really helped me. Especially healing from the death of my step-father.
Start forgiving people. Yes! This is huge. The reason why most of us hold on to control is from all the traumatic sh*t we’ve been through. We try to prevent those things from happening again. By preventing those things from happening and not healing and forgiving we continue to attract those things or people in our lives. As a personal example, my ex- the father or my child is so much like my father that it drives me crazy. (I’ll spare you the deets.) I started to realize that I attracted my “baby daddy” into my life because I still have yet to forgive my father for not doing his job. And now I get a constant reminder of the unhealed Angela. It really is not what I want to deal with. But I know it’s there for a reason. And forgiving people is especially necessary for people who have survived sexual abuse. This can be the hardest thing to let go of. And quite frankly this is where most of our control comes from. We try to control relationships, control who we let in, who we are around, being vulnerable etc. If we don’t heal from this, we could live our whole lives based on this fear. I did. That’s how I ended up pregnant. I was afraid to say no. And the best way to move on is start talking about it and forgiving people. Especially yourself. I know that’s hard but it helps. And if you’re pregnant and a survivor of sexual abuse I recommend this book. It will help you open the lines of communication with your caregiver and partner. And it will help you create a birth plan that’s right for you. It also provides self-help tips to help with the triggers- while pregnant and in labor.
Decide if it’s a battle worth fighting. This one for me, can be tough. I want to fight about everything! Lol! I don’t want to be wrong and I don’t want to admit you’re right! I’m passionate about things that I love. So of course, when someone says something I want to immediately go into battle mode. But somethings aren’t worth fighting about. As I have learned over and over in my pregnancy especially in the last few weeks. It’s not worth the stress and seriously what am I trying to control? (As my coach likes to ask me.) So remember if there’s a possibility something would never ever happen, then let it go.
Now that you’re aware of what control means at a deep-rooted level, your mind will start to notice when you’re trying to control things. Maybe not all the time, but you’ll be better than before. That’s for sure. If you mess up and realize that you were trying to control something after the fact, don’t worry about it. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. If you were perfect at this control thing, you wouldn’t be reading this anyway! Don’t think you’ll sprint when you’re just learning how to walk.
Remember to pause and try to understand where things are coming from. This will help you live a happier and healthier life. Remember we’re not in control of anything but our reactions!
And if you have a comment, a question, a story or can relate in any way, feel free to leave a comment below! Let’s connect.