Hello friends! The topic of “Control” has come up in my life lately- like changing the things we can control, letting go of the things we can’t, and knowing precisely where the line is between the two. These words are easily repeated in the serenity prayer and oh so hard to carry out. Here are a couple of examples where control becomes an issue for all of us.
Sickness. If you’ve ever suffered with a life altering illness, you know that the line between control and surrender is blurred. How and what kind of treatment should you pursue? When is it time to rest and when is it time to fight? What behaviors are driven by fear and what behaviors are driven by wisdom?
Kids sports. Your kid’s sports are supposed to be fun learning opportunities to improve skill and ability. But you know and I know that watching your kids from the bleachers can be an overwhelmingly powerless feeling. You are powerless over their safety, their attitude, their performance, their coach’s decisions, or the other kids on the team. How much pushing is ok? And what if they get benched or get a concussion or get ignored by their coach? When should you step in and how? How much control should you exert?
Unemployment. You try and you look and you interview and you ask around. You submit resumes and queries and then you wait. You feel completely powerless over the “when,” the “what,” or the “how.” When is it time to give up and re-tool? How much pestering should you do? There are so many things out of your control, it’s nearly impossible to control your insides.
The Paradigms we hold affect the way we handle powerless feelings and situations that are outside of our control. The most important decisions in our lives depend on where we draw the line between what we can control and what we need to let go.
Take a look at the differences between a Controlling Attitude and an Attitude of Letting Go. The more you can control your inner life, the less out of control things will feel in the outer life.
In every situation that feels outside of your control, take a look at your paradigm. Where can you give yourself a voice, some strength, some options? You are more powerful than you think, because God’s strength is always there for you. Force that strength through the funnel of love- love for yourself, God and for others.
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