Control - to check or regulate; to keep within limits; to test or verify; to exercise directing, guiding, or restraining power over.
All of the definitions have a positive and a negative side.! There are certain areas where control is absolutely required to succeed at home, at work, in life. The negative side is when control stops me from letting go, letting myself, and letting others. Control is an extremely complex and complicated issue and is at the core of many of my blocks to forward personal progress and growth. It is like an onion with many layers and as one layer is exposed and removed, here comes another one to work on.
Here are some examples of how choices/control fit into my picture.
Letting Go: When my children (2 boys and a girl) were growing up and I was teaching them responsibility around the home I would put a pile warm towels from the dryer on the floor for them to fold. Now, I showed them "how" I wanted them folded so they would fit the slot they belonged in. Did they fold them that way, of course not.
Multiple Choice Question:
1. What can I do about those towels?
A. Make them fold the towels over.
B. Fold them over myself.
C. Put them in the cabinet just as they were.
My choice was C, and it was not an easy choice, believe me. What made me able to choose C was how it would make them feel if I made them do it over or refolded them myself. They were so proud of the stack of nicely folded towels, I thought about it and I chose C , having had the experience myself of having to do it over, and how that made me feel, helped me overcome my desire to have them folded the "right" way and just appreciate and be happy that they were folded.
. How do I prepare a family dinner?
A. Let everyone join in and help, stopping my work and telling them how to do theirs.
B. Let everyone join in and help and let them do their jobs and only offer help if asked.
C. Let everyone join in and help, do my job, watch and compliment them on theirs.
Unfortunately here, the honest answer is A for most of my life. For whatever reason I simply could not let go of the need to have it done a certain way. That choice on many occasions made more work for me as well as stress for everyone else, and yet I could not help myself. After 25 years of working on this one a "layer" at a time, great progress has been made and I can let everyone, on my good days =) when we all get together now, do their own thing, and the correct answer would now be C. =)
Final Question for Today . . .(some of these things are tough to admit!)
3. How do I let my creative spirit thrive and grow?
A. Do not do anything creative until I have gotten all my work, chores, etc. completed.
B. Do small bits of all things that need to be done, work, chores, hobbies, etc. (balance)
C. Do my creative work only.
For most of my life my choices seemed black and white with no gray area, therefore my choice was more often A. As a result of this thinking my creative spirit stayed closed up inside more than out, to the point that I questioned it even existed, yet I always seemed to yearn to connect with it. Being a person who believes that personal growth is an integral part of the journey of life, I have always searched to find books, people, etc. to help enlighten me, teach me, guide me closer to my inner, creative self, to be the best I can be! Now, with a lot of work and practice, my choice more often is becoming B, and let me tell you, it feels really nice. One of the ways I help to ensure that I continue in this direction is this blog. I have said it before this blog is my way of holding myself accountable.
So for today remember. . .
"Use what talents you possess,
For the woods would be very silent
If no birds sang except the best!" Henry Van Dyke