Give Up Your Need for Control

(my take on the second part of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy)

I grew up thinking that the antidote for lack of control was to insist on my need for control.  To be drunk was a character defect springing out of lack of control and if I am to be a person of good character, I would just not allow that to happen.  If I mention that I have reached a sobriety milestone,  I still hear that message. So I tend not to mention those milestones if I have reason to think that message is going to be reinforced.

I’ve learned at least a little over the last couple years.  Giving up control doesn’t necessarily lead to being out of control.  My out of control addiction isn’t helped by my need for control.  As a matter of fact, my obsession with control adds more fuel.

So I’ve settled on this wisdom: I voluntarily give up my obsessive need for control because it just flat out doesn’t work. I don’t spin out of control at the same time because I rest on something else to establish the kind of control over the things I can’t control in my life.  That something which we sometimes refer to as a Higher Power is for me God of the Judeo-Christian faith.  And I don’t have to control others’ understandings of what Higher Power means.  I don’t need to feel threatened about differences.

Every time I feel the compulsion to exercise control during the day over things I can’t control, I do need to stop and realize what I’m doing.  I remind myself that whatever this thing is, it’s not mine to control and I can trust that it won’t spin out of control because I made a choice to give that control to God.

Simple, yes.  Easy, no.  But I’ve made it almost 18 months without picking up that first drink and this is how I did it.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Give Up Your Need for Control « What I see, what I feel, what I'd like to see…

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