So here is a view that might help understanding.
Being in Control
THE MAINSTAYS OF ADULTHOOD
Itis fair to say that one of the most defining features of being an adult is being RESPONSIBLE for the (our) CHOICES
which generally determines what goes on in our lives.
We have to choose all the time, between this action and that, between one way of behaving and another.
We have to consider and gauge the CONSEQUENCES of our choices and actions, otherwise our decisions are unconscious, 'automatic': un-adult: - like a child 's.
But this is in turn dependant upon the underlying factor of CONTROL. We need to carefully gauge that too.
We LIKE to be in control. It makes us less anxious. Less VULNERABLE. But:….. We need to understand and know what we can control and what we cannot.
We often discriminate poorly. We often "overdo it". At great cost.
THE MAIN CHOICE FACTOR
The main issue when we have a choice, is whether or not to DO something. We choose to ACT or not to Act.
(By 'not to act' I mean deliberately refraining, having thought carefully about it.)
This choice has a PROFOUND EFFECT on us. And we do it in the context of what we can & cannot control.
If we choose incorrectly, we bring much pain down on ourselves.
We can destroy our balance and character.
Choose correctly and we can bring much joy and happiness into our lives.
THE FOUR CHOICES.
1.Take Action - on - Things we CAN Control
2.Take Action - on - Things we CANNOT control
3.Take NO action - on - Things we CAN control
4.Take NO Action - on - Things we CANNOT Control
OK,WHAT ARE THESE "PROFOUND" EFFECTS ?
Let's look at the first option. 1.
We try. We may fail. We try again. We may fail again, but we get better over time.
We may eventually succeed.
Thank goodness we had very little thinking power when we were babies: learning to walk.
We would have given up!!
Instead,we persisted, despite getting hurt. We were encouraged.
We achieved MASTERY.
We develop SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, and our TALENTS.
We learn how to INFLUENCE larger things / events / people.
We become COMPETENT, CONFIDENT, POWERFUL.
We are AGENTS in the world, changing things. Doing things.
We have EVIDENCE of our achievements.
We KNOW we have TRIED.
We gain PATIENCE; TOLERANCE; UNDERSTANDING;
We develop HIGH SELF- ESTEEM.
We FEEL very POSITIVE; We feel like adults.
(Even children can feel "Grown-Up"!)
WHAT IF WE DON'T '"TAKE ACTION" ?
If we choose not to act on something we can control?
Because we are afraid of failing, or are lazy, or 'don't care'?
This is number 3. We GIVE - UP.
We fail to confront our difficulties. We give away our power. We lose resolve.
We fail to become competent.
And we Know it.
We may try to ignore it or pretend it isn't the case.
We BLUFF. We DENY.
But we know it to be true.
We feel SHAME; GUILT. Under 'self-threat', we get STRESSED.
We get DEPRESSION and ANXIETY problems.
Our self esteem falls. Of course it does. Our "self" is no longer estimable !
We can even feel CONTEMPT for ourselves
Panic Attacks can develop. We become NEGATIVE. We BLAME. We feel Un-Adult.
This Ain't Good !!
WORSE STILL, IN THE NUMBER TWOs !!
Acting to Control what we cannot control.
Now we really get DEEP in it ! And do we ever suffer.
So many of us.
We embark on UNREMITTING TOIL,
trying to get the better of the many things that are inherently un-controllable.
That includes OTHER PEOPLE --The most 'common' problem 'thing' in this category.
We become FRUSTRATED; ANGRY; EXHAUSTED; OVER-STRESSED
We are Ok recognizing some uncontrollable things.
If we are smart we can try to INFLUENCE these things. (Go back to number 1)
But if we are unwise we STRUGGLE and CONSTANTLY FAIL,
fruitlessly DEMANDING what we cannot have.
We can become MOANERS, COMPLAINERS, WHINGERS, WHINERS.
We become SCARED, 'CONTROL FREAKS', CARPING CRITICS.
We MANIPULATE, COERCE, THREATEN, BULLY, to no avail.
We DEMEAN the Integrity of others -
and of ourselves.
SO,SHOULD WE JUST GIVE UP AGAIN ?
No.The fourth choice is to …..
It takes strength, often, paradoxically, born out of exhaustion.
We Choose To Let-Go, Understanding that this is not 'Ours' to control.
We Can-Not. Or - Should Not - or Must Not.
We can gain a profound sense of RELIEF.
Wec an gain TOLERANCE, PATIENCE, SERENITY, FORTITUDE.
We recognise our limitations, in common with all others. We attain HUMILITY.
I tis the final stage toward FORGIVENESS & HEALING.
SO- WHAT CAN WE CONTROL ?
We can choose to Start with OURSELVES.
We are close to home. We are important tous. We need us.
We want the best for ourselves and who better to provide for us than ourselves.
We deserve our own efforts. We deserve our own time and attention.
We deserve our own self-Knowledge, Respect and Understanding.
These are the main features of LOVE.
If I am ACTing to control myself, YOU don't have to worry yourself about controlling me, for me, (or for yourself !!)
I would resist you anyway. But why would I want to resist myself.
We can control our own lives, taking responsibility for what we do.
We can Attend INWARDS.
We can control our emotions, choosing them, restraining and directing them, for our benefit and the benefit of others.
We can examine our own thinking, eradicating distortions, andbase beliefs ( what we 'live our life by' ) on some evidence.
We can Attend OUTWARDS.
We can LISTEN to other people more often. Talk less.
We can attempt to understand others; act with more kindness.
If you think that exercising so much control over ourselves is too hard, consider this:
It is much easier to focus attention and control ONE person, ourselves, than it is to try to control others.
There are 7,000,000,000 others.
IT'S BEEN SAID BEFORE
Grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change;
The Courage to Change the things I can change;
And The Wisdom to Know the Difference.