Control. This is a hot and very sensitive subject for many people, especially if you have been told once or twice that you are ‘controlling’ or you need to ‘stop trying to control’ the situation. In fact, the topic alone can cause many people to get so upset, enraged really, that they lose control of themselves; ironic right?
But, hey, I am not coming from a place of judgement. Really, this is something that I have had to work on at a spiritual, emotional, relational, and even physical level. This is something I have had to dig deep inside myself to first find the why behind my behaviors and then the how to let go of this need. I have spent a lot of time in reflection and self awareness around how to release and not feel this need to micromanage others lives, choices, words, and emotions. I can say I was definitely a manipulative mess! SO...how did I know I was truly ‘controlling’ in the first place? What was it that led me to decide to work on changing myself?
Let me begin by telling you a bit about my background. I (We) grew up in a dysfunctional family where our mom worked most of the time, we didn’t have a full time father figure present, and there were 6 of us left to fend for ourselves at least 12 hours everyday. Being the oldest, I did what I could to step up, and I probably had the most control in the household, except when mom was home, things were different. Needless to say, she was overworked, stressed, tired, and had little time or patience for us. At a very young age I learned that control was necessary to manage my siblings but, in reality, I had little control, which culminated in me needing to feel like I had to have more control as I got older. This became increasingly apparent in my relationships to the point where people were reminding me that I don’t get to always be right, I don’t get to tell them what to say or what to do, nor do I have the right to hold things over their head if they didn’t do as I asked them to. Despite all of the comments from those I love and have loved about my own controlling behaviors, it was not until college and psychology 101 where I took a dive into my truth. Now, you are not here to hear my whole story, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into my shadow work with control. Essentially, you are not alone if you have heard similar things from people in your life.
Controlling behaviors, or trying to control others, can be negative and is definitely not a good trait to run home and tell your parents about, but if you are here, you have begun the process of reflection, self awareness, and the desire for transformation. You are here to learn more about yourself, recognize your own controlling behaviors, or perhaps seek information about a person that may be taking control of you to a certain extent.
Control works in many ways. It is not always obvious, especially to the person that is being controlled. It is also not always used with negative or malintent. In fact, a controlling behavior is usually manifested from a place of trying to help...at least that is what we might say.
There are varying degrees of control just like anything else. However, they all carry the same characteristic-driven by the desire to convince, argue, or portray that one perspective is better than any other. The perspective is of the controller.
Here are some other examples of characteristics that you may exhibit or are exhibited upon you. It is not a one size fits all guys, but many of these I have used as manipulators in my own past.
Whew! If you are anything like I WAS, you probably read this and felt defeated, and perhaps struggled with being honest to yourself-per the last question. But, consider this. You are here right now. You are seeking personal growth for a reason. Life is all about learning, and let’s be straight, NO ONE IS PERFECT. Therefore, no one is judging (at least on my end).
Release. Recognize. Reflect. Resolve.
You have control of you. Embrace that and know it. When you feel like you are in the place where you need to control, judge, or manipulate the situation with others, speak to your spirit. Speaking to your heart allows you to recenter and remind yourself of the why you wanted to seek this change in the first place and why you decided to understand your own story. We want to be the light in other people’s lives, we don’t want to contribute to the darkness; darkness within ourselves, darkness within our past, or darkness among others.
I am grateful that you are here and I look forward to hearing from you. When you are ready. Share your story. Blessings my fellow kernels. Love and light to you.
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