Are you a “control freak”? What does that even mean?
I’ve had many people describe themselves that way, usually when they feel a loss of control. The truth is, there is very little we have control over. Let me state the obvious things we have no control over but we can get anxious about anyway… the weather, traffic, your kids, your spouse, what others think about you, politics, death, illness, the future, the past, etc.
My, how we can also get caught up in what others are doing or not doing, which then can lead to a whole host of feelings like irritation, anger, disappointment, frustration, helplessness, sadness, vulnerability, etc. Our feelings follow our thoughts and primarily our expectations of how things SHOULD be or go. And when they go another direction than what we want, our mental well-being can follow. Of course, it’s human to have hopes and desires, but we truly don’t have control over another human being. And if we did, it wouldn’t be love; it would be dictatorship.
So let me ask: what are you trying to control in your life? Are the things that are stressing you out things you really can control? Most of the time, the answer is a firm no.
So...what’s the solution?
God gave each of us free will knowing full well that many wouldn’t choose Him or His ways, which are always best for us. Yet, He loves us enough to allow us to make our own choices.
What might following the footsteps of Jesus look like?
Release “control” and instead communicate our hopes to those we care about and then let them choose. We also communicate our boundaries which let them know our limits to their behaviors. When we put the focus back on what we have control of, i.e., our own thoughts and actions, then and only then, will we have inner peace.
Take a deep breath, anchor yourself in the present as much as possible and take control of one of the few things you do have control over… what you choose to think about and your response to the uncontrollables. And then ask God to help you cope with the things that you can’t control. Release them into His care because He cares for you. Your peace is one thought and prayer away.