Week 3, Day 3 – Interrupting the Need to Control Others

The assignments we got to choose form today were:

  1. Think of a recent time when you wanted to control someone’s behavior. Use the process of tracing the feeling back to earlier times. What was going on then? How did you feel/ what did you need? What would help you feel better? Now look at the recent event and see how you could have reacted differently. Use streaming to explore this.
  2. List emotional reactions you have towards a friend, apparent, a child, a family member, a co-worker, a neighbor. How would you like to react differently then you have in the past? What would your new reactions show that you are developing?
  3. Dedicate a page in your journal for new, less controlling behaviors. Cut out images of happy carefree people who are happy in the moment and glue them to the edges of the paper. Write about these new behaviors.

I just want to give thanks for a new perspective on yesterday. As I was praying about my not having liftline services for a few weeks, I found myself having some new revelations. The first was that this was just going to be about 3 weeks of not being able to go places. However, it was just a few years ago, that I had to spend five months in bed and was in far more pain and on so many more pain medications then I am now. If I could make it through five months, I can surely make it through three weeks. It is all about perspective. Then I began to think about how I had begun to take this liftline service for granted. Is it perfect, NO! There are some real systemic issues with the service. However, I am grateful to even have the service. I guess it took the Creator saying, hmm, see this can be gone like that to make me realize how grateful I am to even have the service. So thank you! It made me realize how often I take things for granted and do not give thanks for them as much as I should. It is like breathing, how often we forget to give thanks for the simple things, like breathing, moving a limb, going to the bathroom independently, taking a shower by ourselves, being able to hold a bottle by ourselves, drink, or eat by ourselves. All of a sudden, I found myself giving thanks for something that yesterday had made me feel frustrated. As I came to think about where the fear was coming from, it was related to my job and not being able to get to school. And then I found myself going gurl, do you not have faith in the Creator.  This too will pass and it will all be ok. You have already done every thing you had to do and now it is in the hands of the Creator. So chill and give thanks for even this time. What a difference prayer and meditation can make. 

Probably the feeling I have to work on the most is with folks who procrastinate. That is probably because I am the just do it gurl. My wife always says she has practiced procrastination so much she has mastered it. There have been times that I have wanted to say, hmm, don’t you think you should be studying or working on this paper instead of playing bejeweled twist or surfing the net. Then this voice kicks in and says, its her choice leave her alone and so I do.  At the end of the semester when it is all catching up with her, I do wish I had dropped those subtle, well maybe not so subtle hints earlier, but I don’t. I figured if I treated her like an adult, which she is, who was capable of making decisions on her own then whatever happened, she would be responsible. If she asked for help, which she did I would help. However, she needed to be in control of her own life and responsible for her own consequences. I was actually feeling good about not trying to “save” her. Doing so helped me realize that I do not have to be in control of everything. Sometimes the best thing I can do is to let people learn from their mistakes. Oh wait. Did I just sound like my mother? Girl, why do you always have to learn the hard way? How many times was I the one who had to learn the hard way? I don’t even remember. However, when I was held responsible for my own decisions, I learned and I remembered. Thanks mom! Yeah, those words are engraved in my head. I know I have said them to Nick more then a few times when I have had to let him be responsible for the consequences of his actions. Not always easy, so maybe that is what you meant when you said this was harder on you then on me. Hmm. The lessons you gave me keep returning.

And mom – I miss you and daddy so much. Thank you for the lessons you taught me, the love you gave me, and for being the best parents you knew how to be. I know I was not always the perfect daughter, but you loved me unconditionally.  Thank you!