Our Persistent Need To Be In Control And How To Cope Without It

Most days it feels like I’m learning this lesson over and over again.

That my mind gets in the way and makes me feel like I’m out of control, that everything is reeling and it’s my job to bring it back in. 

From getting my partner to say the right thing at the right time, to wondering what the other person is thinking when I send a text message, through to wanting to book up everything we possibly want to do this year well in advance – the control gremlins are for real

When I’m in my more logical, grounded and connected moments I can bring myself back easily.

I’m able to release that tight grip of needing to know or wanting to be in control of the outcome. Instead, I can literally (at the best of times) take a deep breath, release and say “it’s all going to be okay”. 

It’s those other moments that really mess with my heart.

It takes gentle coaxing and simply taking one step at a time. Anything, literally anything, that would be movement and not stagnancy. 

Sometimes it’s a phone call to a friend, even leaving a voicemail if I can’t get through.

Sometimes it’s expressing the feelings as best as I can to my partner, and being okay if he doesn’t respond in the way I want or need.  

Some days it’s another little voice that pops up in my head and simply says “take it easy, you’re doing great, one step at a time, this will pass”. 

Other days it takes more precise, conscious and consistent action.

Really encouraging myself to just book that thing in – the meditation class, or yoga class, or coffee catch up. Or to open up my journal, get my pen and simply start. Anything is better than nothing

When I choose nothing, when I sink into those anxious feelings, thoughts and stuckness, it hurts even more. 

Note – I am not saying to avoid the thoughts and feelings. Far from it. In fact if anything my practice to constantly remind myself that feeling is necessary. It’s when I don’t feel that the bottling starts. The tension rises. And I end up behaving in ways that are far from my truest, kindest, most loving version of myself. 

Me pushing my feelings away is just another sign of me letting the control gremlins take over. 

And the thing is, life is not meant to be controlled.

Life is cyclical. Ever-moving. Shifting. Evolving. Changing. Just look at nature. Constantly in movement and evolution.

Seeking constant control is like trying to grasp onto a flower and willing it to stay in full bloom always. 

It just ain’t going to happen. And you’re likely going to feel worse for trying. 

I know for me the best way I’m able to release that need for control is to return to some of the practices I’ve shared in this post.

Simple movements. And reminders that one step at a time will always move me away from those feelings of stuckness and towards flow. 

What’s one step you could take right now?