I have a love-hate relationship with the idea of control, perhaps many of us do. I don’t ever wish for my life or a situation to be out of control, and I strive for that safe stability of things being ‘under control’. I like to feel like I’m in control, but don’t like it when people are controlling. I dream about living a life characterized by freedom – from expectations, from fear of failure, from opinions of others, and yet by remaining bound to those things I find this false peace that comes from the calculated risks and overthinking. I hate the things I can’t control, and they make me so uncomfortable that I try to control them anyway.
This need for control sometimes causes me to doubt people, and that then paired with my self-doubt is a crippling combination. Sometimes I’ll see something and think, “I just want to take over. I don’t know if I can necessarily do better, but I would just feel better if I were in control. But I don’t want to seem controlling, so I won’t do anything about it.”
This control is driven by fear more than anything else. It isn’t because I think I’m always right or because I need to have things my way – although I, of course, have moments of pridefulness and selfishness – it’s simply fear. But to live life this way is to miss out. I may miss out on an opportunity because I’m afraid I’ll fail, or because of the fear of the unknown. How can I control it if I don’t know what to expect? I may miss out on an opportunity to push someone to be better because I fear putting my trust in them and I fear taking a chance on them. What if they do this and then this happens? I may miss out on an opportunity to listen to someone or show them compassion because I’m afraid of what they, or others, will think of me when I do. I don’t want this to be perceived this way…
But I think that when we we relinquish control, life becomes fuller. What I mean by that is, it makes room for things not from yourself, things that could never come from you, things you never thought you wanted or needed – and that’s a much more complete experience than when you only see in your own perspective and perception. As much as I crave control, I sure am glad that I’m not able to control everything; I’m imperfect and limited, and would surely mess things up. The older I get, the more tempting control becomes..but the older I get, the more I realize that it is necessary to let it go. If not, I will only ever grow as much as I allow myself, and only in the ways that are comfortable & convenient for me..but sometimes we have to go to the messy places to be refined.
If you’re new to my blog, #WVW (Word Vomit Wednesday) is a fun little weekly challenge my friend Brian and I started to encourage more consistent and authentic writing. The point is to write down, or word vomit, whatever comes to mind, with lots of vulnerability along the way. Many have joined in on the fun, and you should too! 🙂