Do all human beings struggle with letting go of control? I tend to think so, but I think that struggle becomes even greater with those who are going through really tough times in life.
I find it’s always easy to let go of control when all bills are getting paid on time, when all personal relationships are doing just fine, when there are no health issues, and well, when I’m not going through any of those tough times. But as soon as I begin to, I find myself often attempting to usurp control elsewhere in my life to compensate for my lack of control during those tough times.
In the past few years, I’ve been going through an extended tough time, one that happens to be with my health and the chronic pain I go through, something that rarely seems to let up lately. Case in point, I had a notably difficult pain-filled day recently where I came home and began to nitpick apart my partner over things that felt oh so important to me at the time. I yelled, cursed, and screamed so much that I ended up leaving the house close to midnight and going for a drive to cool down. During it, I prayed and cried and started to realize just how much my pain levels were driving me to try to control so many things around me, especially with my partner.
I saw how all my repeated comments on what he did with his free time, or about his eating habits, or what he watches on television, or how he did his chores, or even how he treated me, were all just ways I was attempting at controlling something, seeing how I couldn’t control the very thing I really wanted to control, that being with what’s going on within me. It’s then I realized how much I was becoming one of those micro-managing bosses I once had eons ago when I was in the corporate work force. And that didn’t sit too well with me at all because I never enjoyed working for any of those bosses back then.
As I pondered all this on that late-night drive, I also reflected on the rest of my life and saw how my repeated attempts at cleaning up my yard debris, pushing my sponsees through their step work, changing the structure of meetings I attend, and expecting friends to communicate with me exactly as I do with them, were just some of the many ways I’ve been attempting to control things in recent months, all in the hopes that each might distract me from the very misery I have with the tough times I keep going through.
The fact is, my life often feels so very out of control with the pain I continue to live with. And because I can’t seem to change this level of pain no matter what I try to do, my ego keeps resorting to repeated attempts to change plenty of things around me, hoping it might make me feel better somehow, but it never does. Instead, it only causes me greater suffering.
But on those rare days though, when my overall pain levels noticeably drop, I find myself going with the flow so much easier, letting things be as they are meant to, accepting everything in the way it presents itself as. Yet as soon as those pain levels return, I find I’m right back to my many attempts to usurp control somewhere in my life.
It’s a recovery 3rd step battle that’s for sure, one that I can look back on now in my life and see how all the periods I was going through those tough times, like when I was losing my business or my home, or when my parents tragically died, or when I lost a job, or when I went through a breakup with a partner, I always became more controlling. So, it’s quite apparent to me that my work for now is to learn how to let go of control during this extended tough time and the only solution I know of to help with this is to keep praying and asking God for help in the matter.
The reality is that I really don’t want to be a controlling person in life and am making great strides to change this part of myself. While I may not be able to change this severely tough time I am unfortunately still having to go through, I can at least work on letting go of all those repeated attempts I make to take control of things that never do pay off and only seem to cause me and plenty of others greater pain and suffering. Because in the end, the last thing this world needs, especially myself, is any greater pain and suffering…
Thank You God for helping me to see how my repeated attempts at taking control aren’t doing me one bit of good. Please help me to fully let go of this unhealthy behavior, as it’s only causing me and others greater pain and suffering. In the end, I know that letting go and letting You fully take over those reins of life, even when my pain remains great, will only help me to feel that much more peace and joy when this tough time finally passes…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson