Let go and live
Let go and live
When a person tries to control either themselves or another, there is a pretty strong chance for things to feel like they have lost control. I have seen people go to some pretty extreme lengths to ensure that they stay in control; they will literally do whatever it takes.
I think the first, and perhaps most important question to ask yourself is why you feel a need to control either yourself or others?
I have my own theories that come from my own understanding about control. Feelings that immediately enter my head are fear; lack of worth; lack of trust; a resistance to vulnerability; to name but a few. As with rejection; self imposed rules; closing your heart; control is yet another coping mechanism that tends to amount to the same thing – self protection. I just wonder how healthy that is?
What are the perceived positives about having control?:
If we are in control, then no-one else can control us.
If we are in control, then no-one else can hurt us.
If we are in control, then no-one else can threaten our worth.
What are the consequences of having those beliefs?
Control Often Numbs The Reality Of Living
I believe trying to control our emotions and feelings has to be one of the most difficult things to sustain; and perhaps one of the most painful things we can inflict on ourselves. I was walking along the road the other day and I saw a mother aggressively holding on to her little boy by his collar whilst screaming at him ‘just shut up and stop crying’. I actually winced. The mother was trying to gain some control over the little boy expressing himself. The message that was being given could have such a detrimental impact. The potential for that little boy to grow in to a man who may spend his life fighting to control his emotions, has quite likely already been established. Each time he might feel the need to express himself the trigger of his mother telling him to stop in such an aggressive and forceful way would immediately shut down any possibility. Why? Because he would associate any kind of expression with pain. I am not openly judging the mother, as small children crying can be very testing; but I believe there has to be an awareness around both the intent and impact of the messages we are giving when trying to manage a situation.
I was brought up with verbal messages like ‘you are too sensitive’; ‘stop crying’; and some pretty horrific non verbal messages to ‘shut me down’; ironically all they really did was to induce me to cry more and reinforce my sensitivity. Today I see that as a big positive. When I have attempted to suppress my feelings or someone else has tried to shut them down I have found it hugely painful. In my mind my ability to cry and my sensitivity to feel are an expression that can pay massive dividends and have only served to enhance my strength.
I don’t buy in to all that bullshit that men should ‘man-up’ and ‘grow a pair’ and woman should stop being so sensitive. What I do buy in to is a freedom to express in a balanced way and that is certainly NOT gender specific. Sensitivity does not counteract strength and vice versa.
The opposite of expression is depression. The definition of depress: dishearten; discourage; dispirit; reduce; weaken; oppress; devitalize; impair; inhibit. I do wonder when people state that they are suffering from depression what it is they are actually suppressing? Suppression has got to be a main factor in generating a state of depression and my sense is it takes a lot of self control to oppress; weaken; impair; inhibit and reduce. Whether you are subjecting yourself, or another to that, it is going to have negative consequences. Essentially if you are suppressing yourself from expression in a healthy way then you are most probably going to hold yourself in a state of depression. By doing so you will not only suffocate, but most likely push every bit of joy out of your life. My feeling is that the first step to shedding a feeling of depression is to stop controlling a basic need for expression.
Holding on to or imposing control does not take away fear; it does not build self worth; it does not repair trust; and it does not make you immune from vulnerability. When it spirals out of control it amplifies and exacerbates all those things in the negative and that is a cycle that will remain until you decide to Let go and Live.
You don’t have to be controlling to prevent being controlled; you don’t have to control to prevent being hurt; you don’t have to control to prevent any threat to your worth. If you believe that is the answer then what you will essentially be doing is quashing your own freedom of choice. You can’t control another person’s behaviour or reaction; but what you can control is the action you take. It is your view of a situation that holds the power to change it. If your view is to react with control then very little will change. If you control how much you give of yourself then you are subconsciously dictating what others will ultimately be able to give in return.
Trying to assert control is like being locked in a self imposed cage; it will limit just about everything you experience. By letting go there is a freedom to connect not disconnect; a freedom to express not depress; a freedom to allow not resist; a freedom to include not to exclude; a freedom to attract not repel.
Communicate Optimism, Nourish Trust and Radiate an Openness to Living.
Let Go And Live.