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seems to be a part of human nature for us to want to control
situations in our lives and the lives of others. After all,
we want to be helpful, to help others by making sure that
situations work out well for all involved. And sometimes it
seems to us that the only way that we can make things turn out
okay is by taking over and controlling that situation ourselves.
I see parents do
it with their kids in college: by calling their kid every
day and "checking in on them," they make their
presence--and their expectations--constantly clear. That's
supposed to "motivate" the kid. Other parents try
to give advice on every topic under the sun to their kids, fully
expecting the children to follow that advice to the letter.
This is called micromanaging, though, and it's usually more
indicative of the parent's fear of failing the other person than
it is of the kid's need for such constant input.
We simply fear
being out of control. We fear watching things and events
spiral out of control, harming us and those people we love.
We fear facing a situation in which we have no control, and we
fear situations reaching that point, so we try to "make
sure" that nothing in our lives ever gets that far.
though, comes from a lack of confidence or faith in life and in
God, whatever you perceive God to be. Life has been going on
for many, many years without our input, and it's been going along
fine. In fact, it seems clear that life has a harder time
doing its thing the more we interfere with it.
willing to let the river flow as it will--we want to make sure
that we control the amount of water that's flowing, the direction
in which it flows, and when it stops and starts flowing. If
we can do that, we can make sure that the river never will
overflow its banks, and we can be sure that no one will be hurt by
But the river's
not under our control. Our kids' lives aren't under our
control. My spouse's life isn't under my control, nor is my
neighbor's nor my father's or mother's. When I try to
control them and fail at it--as I ultimately must--I'm building
frustration and aggravation into my life as well as theirs.
It's admirable to
want to save other people pain and suffering and
aggravation. But their lives are up to them, and it's not my
responsibility to control them. I can be there to help when
I'm asked for help, but if I interfere without asking, I'm not
doing anybody any good at all.
Trying to control
life is a losing battle from the beginning. It's important
that we step back and see whether our influence (not control) may
be helpful or useful in a given situation, but if we constantly
try to make sure that everything turns out fine, we will fail time
and time again. Isn't it important to use our strength and
power in situations in which we truly do have influence (in our
jobs and relationships, for example, focused on our own actions)
rather than in ways that are doomed to be wastes of that energy?
Ask not that events should happen as you will,
let your will be that events should
happen as they do, and you shall have
When the uncontrollable things or people in our lives
are making us
miserable, it is because we allow them to do that to us.
They canít keep us on that roller coaster if we decide to get
How do you get off?
By choice, by a decision of your will, by much prayer,
and by the
power of Godís Spirit within you. It
on your part, but if you donít let God supply the
youíre not likely to be able to do it.
The sun will set without your assistance.
If you want to run the show, God will let you.
If you want to pull all
the strings, thatís up to you.
If you want to insist that what you
are doing is the way it should
be done, even when you are not
getting anywhere, go right ahead.
God will let you run yourself ragged,
if you choose to do so.
Unfortunately, you may not always be aware that
you are in Godís
way. . . . God has no need to prove to you what God can do.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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|We don't want
to give the controls to someone else; we
reins ourselves. We want to get our way. And
we get upset when
things don't work out. . . . When we
try to control someone else or
events beyond the scope
of our power, we lose. When we learn to
difference between what we can change and what we
we usually have an easier time expressing our power in
lives. Because we're not wasting all our energy
using our power to
change things we can't, we have a
lot of energy
left over to live our lives.
The only way to become less
controlling is to see the advantages of doing so.
You have to see that you can still get your way when it's necessary, yet
will be less personally invested. In other words, less will be
riding on other
people being, thinking, or behaving in a certain way. This will
translate into a
far less stressful way of being in the world. . . . In addition, as you
controlling, you'll be a lot easier to be around. You can probably
most people don't like to be controlled. It's a turnoff. It
and adversarial relationships. As you let go of your need to be so
people will be more inclined to help you; they will want to see you
When people feel accepted for who they are rather than judged for who you
think they should be, they will admire and respect you like never before.
Sweat the Small Stuff--100 of the Best
Control is never achieved when
sought after directly;
it is the surprising result of letting go.
James Arthur Ray
life is less a matter of knowledge than a question
of wisdom. It is not about mastering life, controlling it
or exerting our will over it, no matter how well intentioned
our will may be. Befriending life is more about
harmlessness than it is about control.
The control humans have secured over nature has far outrun
control over themselves.
overcome by force have overcome but half their foe.
tendency is to run from the painful realities or try
to change them
as soon as possible. But cure without
care makes us into rulers,
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|We all want control. We don't just want control over
our own lives; we want
control over everyone else's as well. It would be so much better if
else would just be like us and do what they want them to do.
"If only they would listen."
"If only they wouldn't be so mean or foolish."
We try anger, guilt, withdrawal, criticism--all methods of
control to get them
to fall in line.
You may be able to get away with controlling children until
they leave home
or for as long as you pay the bills. It's a contract: I'll
give you money if you
let me have control.
That might be okay with employees because you are in charge
paychecks. It's okay with pets because you provide the food and
It's not okay with anyone else--friends or relatives:
You can tell them what
you want, you can hope that they get the drift, but you have no control
what they do or say.
When you get angry or hurt, check whether you're wishing you
over someone. Peace of mind requires you to let go of that desire.
Choose acceptance over the illusion of control.
Let go. Choose peace.
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey
If you can't control
your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life.
The Authoritative Calvin And Hobbes
not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them
to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
Thomas ŗ Kempis
You must learn to
let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.
Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of
you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.
Life, the Truth, and Being Free
You have no control
over what the other person does.
You only have control over what you do.
A. J. Kitt
You need to learn
how to select your thoughts just the same way you
select what clothes you're gonna wear every day. This is a power you
can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad,
on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to
everything else but that. Because if you can't learn to
master your thinking, you're in deep trouble forever.
Eat, Pray, Love
the wisest words that were ever uttered to me. Came from
a therapist. I was sitting in her office, crying my eyes out. . .
said, "So let me get this straight. You base your personal
happiness on things entirely out of your control."
This Is Not the Story You Think It Is
Control in modern
times requires more than force, more than law.
It requires that a population dangerously concentrated in cities and
factories, whose lives are filled with cause for rebellion,
be taught that all is right as it is.
A People's History of the United States
funny, in a human kind of way, how we can convince ourselves
that we're in control at the very moment we are beginning to lose it.
|Most of us crave
control. We think we'd find lasting happiness
if only others would do what we want. But wringing our hands
over their independence won't change anything. On the contrary,
addressing our own behavior, our own thinking, our own attitudes
can encourage the very behavior we tried to demand all along.
Being aware of the difference between what we can
what we can't is critical for day-to-day
happiness. There is no
point in banging our
heads against a wall. Once we understand
can't do, we can then make the most important
decisions about what we will do.
Than You Think