The “Control” Lesson

What is control? Who controls who? What can we control? Are you in control?

There is the control over self and the control over others.  Sometimes we confuse the two. Sometimes we mix the two. Sometimes we misuse the two. The first type of control can be a healthy choice versus the later; can be damaging and destructive.

Let me talk about the positive side of control. Generally speaking you can be in control of your life.  You are in control of your own decisions. You are in control with your emotions and the words you say to others.  You control your own happiness by not allowing someone else to be in charge of it. You control your thoughts and you remain positive and act accordingly.  You are in control of who you are, what you want and where you want to be.

On the other hand, You can be controlling over those around you.  You can control or at least try to manipulate how someone behaves, their desires, who to associate with, their choice in what they eat, how they dress, career path, how to think even in severe cases of control. It can lead to a border line of abuse and deprivation from rights of freedom.

Being a controlling person as in you like things to be the way you want and you will not settle for less is not the same as controlling to the point of being a freak.

How do you know which one you are?

If you can be easy-going and spontaneous at times; you are not controlling

If you like certain things to be done a certain way but if it does not, you do not lose it; you are not controlling

If you listen to other people’s point of view; you are not controlling

If you have no problem with someone driving you, cooking for you, surprise you on a trip; you are not controlling

If you can change your ways at some point, be flexible at times and accept things you do not like at other times; you are definitely not controlling

These are just some examples that came to my mind. If you are one of those people who will react opposite, then you might want to reassess yourself and face the fact that you are a controlling person who wants everything your way or it is the highway. May be you do not realize you are showing controlling characteristic and others around you see it.  Maybe you thought you were being controlling but now you notice you are not by far. Maybe someone has accused you of being controlling because you simply want to be yourself and the problem is them who want to control you and are trying to find a way to get to you by making you feel guilty and messing with your head.  Think about that for a second.  Do not allow anyone to shake your foundation.  Do not allow anyone to manipulate you.  Do not allow anyone to dominate you.  Be who you are. Do what you want to do.  There is nothing wrong in following your dreams. There is nothing bad in creating the life you want for yourself. If others do not fit in that plan and want to change you, let them go, they are not meant to be in your life any longer.

A personal observation; I have noticed that those who need to control other people’s lives are failing to control theirs. May be I am wrong about that.  But it is just something I have come to observe over the years.  From a psychological perspective, when someone wants to change you to become what they want, it is because that is what they wish they could be themselves but are too afraid or do not have the confidence or whatever the reason may be. Our behaviour and the way we treat others is a reflection on how secure we are, how happy we are with our own lives, how confident we are with ourselves, and how proud we are of our decisions.  In some way, it always comes back to us.  Whether positive or negative, whether we are happy or not.

Sometimes we end up demonstrating characteristics of being controlling in a defence mechanism because we were once controlled. Sometimes we try our hardest not to be what we hate, but the more we try not to be something, we become it.

Ask yourself: “Am I controlling? Why do I feel the need to be? Am I controlling in my own life only? What will I gain from being in control about every single thing? Do I really believe that I am in control?”

I asked myself those questions over the years. And today I am able to be honest with myself and see where I went wrong and where I had every right to be in control.  Sometimes I take it too far, I will admit.  But other times, I am so glad that I have this quality in me because it saves me from a lot of mistakes.  I do admit I like to be in control of my life.  Then again who does not like that?  I feel more stable when I control where my life is headed.  I have my dreams, my goals, my plans.  I am such a planner.  Yes I can be spontaneous and adventurous at times.  But when it comes to the more serious things in life, I am in charge of it, at least parts of it.  I am well aware that I cannot control everything.  I understand life has its twists and turns.  You may think you are headed in one direction, and something Outside of your CONTROL happens and sends you in a different direction.  I look at my life today and I am in awe as to how it turned out to be.  Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be doing certain things, going to certain places, eating certain foods, and experiencing certain feelings. I am not where I wanted to be according to my plans from a couple of years back.  I do not have the things I planned to have.  I am not living the life I planned to live.  I have taken a different turn somewhere along the road.  I do not know how I got here.  Yet I am the person that always plans.  I learned finally that I must let go of certain things, certain wants, certain desires.  In letting go, is the process of accepting life for what it is not what I want it to be.  There is nothing wrong in wanting and dreaming and working towards my goals.  However, it is time I understand that not everything can be planned.  Some things are meant to come along in its own way, on its own time.  I learned this lesson because of the experiences that I lived, the people I met along the way, the people I lost, the people I still have in my life.  And I am thankful once again that my eyes have been opened to certain things.  There is always a price to pay with every lesson.  And as usual, I learned mine the hard way.  What’s new?

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