Author Kute Blackson writes, “The root of misery is control. Control is the master addiction, the hardest one to give up. Control is an illusion, as there is so much in life that we cannot control. When you try to control what you cannot, then suffering is your guaranteed result.”
Control is about CONSTRICTION and CONTRACTION. It’s been my experience that I tend to want to control when I feel threatened or afraid that I’m going to lose something or I’m not going to get what I want. The opposite of control is EXPANSION. It’s about being in the flow, trusting, being, surrendering to “what is” and letting go.
All I can change is ME, plain and simple. I cannot change my spouse, my children, my friends or the world. None of us have that kind of power. We may observe things that are harmful that our loved ones are doing to themselves i.e., not taking care of their bodies, eating poorly, not exercising, staying in stressful situations, holding onto resentments, being unwilling to forgive, caught up in addictions, not leaving a marriage or job that is not for their highest good. The list could go on and on. Can you relate? Is there someone in your life who you would like to change or control?
It is difficult to not want to CONTROL someone you love when you think they are hurting themselves and can’t see it or don’t want to see what they are doing. Of course, we love them and want the best for them. You may be thinking now, “Shouldn’t I share my thoughts and concerns with them?” Of course, you share your concerns about what they are doing or not doing. After you have shared your concerns, the key is to then LET GO, DETACH and PRAY and SEND LOVE. I invite you to ask yourself some questions:
- Do I think I am God and know what’s best for someone I love?
- Why don’t I trust that it is their journey to walk and when they are ready to change something in their lives, they will?
- Is it my egoic thinking that I think I know best and have the answers for their lives?
When I have been “awakened” to something that needs changing in my own life, it is natural for me to want to share it with those I love and want them to get on board. But when I try to push it down their throats, nag, preach, guilt them or leave books around to educate them, it is about trying to control another, no matter how well- meaning I am. My loved ones may never choose to change and it is not my responsibility to change them or judge them
It is disrespectful when I try to control another. So often we are not even aware of how controlling we are and just think we are being helpful to those we love. Thankfully, I am learning that trying to control another’s destiny just doesn’t work.
What comes to mind is a situation that I had with my son many years ago. It was like a light bulb went off when I realized I was trying to control him because I wanted him to UNDERSTAND how I was feeling. I shared with him that I felt hurt about something he had done. He didn’t get it and defended himself. I tried everything I could to make him understand what I was feeling and felt frustrated and angry that he wasn’t getting it and I wasn’t willing to let it go.
All of a sudden (after a long time of trying to get him to see it my way) Spirit showed me that it was my control issues that I needed to look at. I was trying to control his reaction to me because I needed or wanted him to understand what I was feeling. It was a lesson that I will never forget and hopefully never do it again.
I am grateful I have the tools and know how to detach and stay out of another’s business. I have learned to love them just as they are and trust they will change if and when they want to. My responsibility is to focus on myself and what I need to do in my own life and love others just as they are because we are all doing the best we can.
I recently had an experience with a family member that I had to practice what I preach. Unfortunately, I was into the “Blame Game.” I know better, right?
I dug into my “spiritual tool box” and searched for the tool I needed to feel better and bring myself back to center. I clearly needed to practice DETACHMENT. How did I know I needed to detach? Easy, my mind was like a blender and I couldn’t stop thinking about what my family member said and did. It felt like I was about to explode and of course, I thought I was right! I took a walk to clear my head and breathe. I kept repeating to myself detach, detach, detach over and over again. I didn’t know what else to do to bring myself back to peace. It worked and relief came.
When I judge and make someone else wrong (and me right) I am in trouble because I am living in victim consciousness.When I am in victim consciousness, I’m not willing to take responsibility that my soul attracted this situation or person that I’m blaming and judging, so that I can heal limiting beliefs I have that are not true about who I am. Through God’s grace, I became willing to see the perfection in what I had attracted into my life and was willing to stop blaming and judging my family member. Rather than coming from a place of anger, blame and judgment, I was able to come from a place of love. I was then able to forgive myself and my family member for what I had “perceived” as their wrong doing.
Detachment is a powerful tool that I practice when I get out of balance and lose my peace. I choose to love and not live in victim consciousness. It is a choice. What are you choosing today? Are you living in victim consciousness or are you coming from a place of love?
Have you been affected by someone else’s drinking or drugging? Do you stay up at night worrying about someone you love? Are you frustrated that your efforts of trying to control haven’t worked?
What does Spirituality have to do with addiction? It has everything to do with it. Addiction is a family disease that affects the person abusing as well as family members. It is a Spiritual disease and the way to recover is through developing Spirituality. This disease has been likened to as having a “hole in the soul.”
Spirituality is the life of the spirit and an awareness of a presence sometimes alone in stillness and sometimes with others. It is a “connectedness” with self, others and a Power greater than yourself. That Power may be referred to as Higher Power, God, Source, Universe – whatever is comfortable for you. It’s important to understand Spirituality is not religion. Unfortunately, many people have been turned off by organized religion and think Spirituality is religion. You can be religious and not spiritual and spiritual and not religious
When someone is actively drinking or drugging, they are disconnected from themselves, from others and from their Source. They are lonely, scared and confused. Often their lives are out of control and they’ve lost family members, jobs, homes due to their addiction. It is devastating for the person who is addicted as well as for family members.
Family members often blame themselves, try to control their loved one and in the end lose themselves. Being involved with an addicted person for any length of time and trying to reason with them can be discouraging. Children suffer because they think that if the parent really loved them, they would stop using. Many have turned to Al-anon and Al-ateen to cope with this devastating and life threatening disease. In Al-anon you learn the three C’s. You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it.
The stress of living with someone who is addicted can have numerous effects:
Physical: You may develop health problems, such as headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, upset stomach, colitis, or heart problems
Emotional: You may feel angry, resentful, irritable, lonely, guilty or depressed
Social: In relating to others, you may be withdrawn, aloof, isolated, embarrassed, aggressive, or controlling
Spiritual: Your outlook on life may become bitter, despairing, helpless, hopeless or lacking in faith
As family members, we learn we can’t “fix” the addicted person. We need to allow addicts the dignity to recover at their own pace. Learning to detach with love is a skill that must be learned and practiced on a daily basis.
Detachment is regaining your identity and taking responsibility for your own life – and admitting you cannot control the life of another person. Detaching does not mean that you stop caring. It means that you stop trying to control someone else. You need to focus on yourself and make changes in you.
Tips on how to develop Spirituality and live in peace
- Detach and stop enabling – the chemically dependent person must be responsible for their behavior. You can no longer step in and pick up the pieces. It’s important to stop lying, making excuses and covering up for the person’s actions.
- Accept – that changes you make may cause others to be angry and resentful. Expect that. Expect them to react to the healthy changes you are making.
- Do not threaten – Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.
- Focus on yourself and what you can change – Discover what you like to do and what gives you pleasure. Do little things for yourself each day that you enjoy; going for a walk, listening to music, starting a hobby, going out to lunch with a friend.
- “Show up” everyday and develop a spiritual practice of sitting down for 5 minutes and being quiet. Journal and meditating are wonderful tools to incorporate.
- Identify your feelings and share them with someone you trust.
- Practice an attitude of gratitude by focusing on what you do have, rather than what’s missing.
- Have faith that you have everything you need and you are in the presence of a loving presence and you are not alone.
- Change your thinking and your life will change.
- Join a recovery group.
- Work with a Spiritual Counselor/Coach
What is Spiritual Counseling/Coaching and how it can help you
The purpose of spiritual counseling/coaching is to assist you in finding God in the midst of life events, and to prayerfully support you during life changes. It is designed to inspire and awaken you to all possibilities of spiritual growth in your life. It is to help you focus on the solution as your build your conscious awareness of God’s presence and activity in your life. Spiritual counseling/coaching will help you meet life’s challenges from a new consciousness of connection with God.
For more information about Spiritual Coaching contact Pat @ 401-521-6783 or Pat@SimplyaWomanofFaith.com
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Simply A Woman of Faith
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