We’re really all control freaks. We like things in certain ways on certain days with certain people. When other things and people come into our lives and mess up our structures and plans we get all flustered, or worse. Our ability to go with the flow and deal with the punches has gotten worse with the advances in technology, transportation and high society. Yet we’re dealing with more uncertainty than ever before with the extreme weather, threats of war, differences of cultures and new health challenges that can strike at any time.
So I’ve gotten to the point that I’ve accepted my need to control things. We all need structure and order in our lives to stay sane. However, we do have to accept that we can’t control every aspect or every minute. This is often harder than finding things to structure in our lives. So we end up with little structure and lots of frustration.
The other point of agreement we have to reach with ourselves is that we can’t control what others do. I can encourage or recommend one thing or another, create a list of instructions, or write up a job description and hand it to you, but short of putting a gun to your head you’re under little requirement to follow my instructions. You also don’t have much control of how much I drink each night, if I choose to follow a certain religion, or whether I choose to marry and divorce lots of people. But the choices we each make individually whether we realize or accept it or not affect others.
However, while the choices you make do affect me, we each must determine how much they affect us personally. You can choose to decide if the drunk driver that put you in a wheelchair will ruin your life or if you’ll be a survivor. You can choose if someone spilled coffee on you will ruin your day or more because they ruined your favorite fancy outfit. You can choose whether to let someone’s rant on stupid people become your rant, or not. It’s up to each of us to choose what impact the actions, thoughts, beliefs and words of another will have in our lives.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelou