Letting Go of the Need to Control

27 Apr

The rewards from detachment are great: serenity; a deep sense of peace; the ability to give and receive love in self-enhancing, energizing ways, and the freedom to find real solutions to our problems. — Codependent No More

Letting go of our need to control can set others and us free. It can set our Higher Power free to send the best to us.

If we weren’t trying to control someone or something, what would we be doing differently?

What would we do that we’re not letting ourselves do now? Where would we go? What would we say?

What decisions would we make?

What would we ask for? What boundaries would be set? When would we say no or yes?

If we weren’t trying to control whether a person liked us or his or her reaction to us, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control the course of a relationship, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control another person’s behavior, how would we think, feel, speak, and behave differently than we do now?

What haven’t we been letting ourselves do while hoping that self-denial would influence a particular situation or person? Are there some things we’ve been doing that we’d stop?

How would we treat ourselves differently?

Would we let ourselves enjoy life more and feel better right now? Would we stop feeling so bad? Would we treat ourselves better?

If we weren’t trying to control, what would we do differently? Make a list, and then do it.

Today, I will ask myself what I would be doing differently if I weren’t trying to control. When I hear the answer, I will do it. God, help me let go of my need to control. Help me set others and myself free.


This hits home for me pretty squarely. I was teased a lot as a kid for the things I enjoyed. A friend of mine that enjoys psychology told me it’s natural for kids (people, really) to test each others’ acceptance levels for that behavior. My understanding is that it shows what the targets mettle is, in case of real trials.

I respond in 2 ways. My primary response is to avoid people that don’t accept me for who I am. My secondary reflex is to hide that aspect of me which is the target of unwanted attention. Both methods seriously affect my life.

For instance – I went to Chicago last March to see Colin Hay perform (see my pic on the “About Me” page), & I couldn’t find one person to go with me in 6 months of asking around. Now, the experience was uniquely enjoyable having gone alone, and I appreciated every minute thoroughly! The drawback is that I feel fears around expressing my excitement and enjoyment in the presence of my friends, given their lack of interest.

Ever experience that, when really stoked about something and all your buddies either tease you, or (in my estimation, worse) are blasé and indifferent? For me, that’s a buzzkill, it drags me right off my cloud and I land hard on the ground with a crunch. It trains me — Pavlovian style — to hide my enthusiasms, and has even more impact on what I enjoy.

Which is how I ended up being confused about what I like at all. I dislike much of the music (continuing with the idea from my example) that my friends like, and can’t share what I do like with them. Which generally leads me to having no friends. Except I am not designed to be a “lone wolf.” So, the pretending (controlling) begins.

I struggle with this concept.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Posted by on 2012/04/27 in Language of Letting Go


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