Although I’d hate to admit it I used to believe I had control over all sorts of things – outside of myself. I would act as if a thought, word or deed of mine I could change things to suit my wants. I shake my head at my naivete and smile when I recall my surprise to find out I couldn’t and didn’t have this power. Maybe I believed I was a Thought Magician.
I would meet someone I like and think, “I think I’d like to include them in my life.” Then I’d cringe when I found…. that’s right, the nasty habit. I would make suggestions and I’d sound like a nagging mother. I would attempt to be a good role model and was always frustrated when they didn’t see my brilliance. Were they so blind they couldn’t see that they would be so much better off if they – well, just did it my way! I would point out behavior in other people as a model for them to follow but often my actions would be viewed as “remote nagging”.
remote nagging:v. the act of telling someone how to behave by using a “model” as an example. Note, “still viewed as nagging”.
There was a pattern in my behavior that I blissfully ignored.
Step 1: I would dislike someone’s behavior.
Step 2: I would would attempt to change that behavior by any means possible.
Step 3: Pray. If my previous attempts didn’t work I would default to the spiritual path. I felt like I could bypass the human factor and go directly to God. I would pray for a change and would be sorely disappointed when things did not go my way.
Even in my own yard, I thought I could harness nature to do my bidding. I’d dig the weeds one week and the next DAY they would be back. Living in a rainforest environment is not a pleasant experience for someone who has issues with control. Yard work, my comfort, was challenged by my lack of control over nature. My whole life was like a wildly untamed garden. What was wrong with this picture? I didn’t live in a vacuum. There are other people interacting with my environment besides me. There was that sticky human factor again.
Okay, I finally admitted to myself: I had no control over anything in my life outside of me. I could change my behavior, my thoughts and my actions but I could no more control my environment than I could charm a snake.
Now, when I first had that thought, it was quite scary. It would seem I was at the mercy of everyone and everything in my life. Where did that leave me? I was stumbling around in this jungle, of my life and I had no map to guide me. There were hidden monsters at every turn. You might say it was a good time to take stock of my life.
The bad news was that a lot can happen because I can’t control what comes at me. The good news was no one could control Me either. Now that thought seemed quite powerful, but I still wasn’t sure that was going to be all that useful. So I gave it more thought.
At its worst it meant if I wanted to pay my bills I could and if I didn’t, I could choose that as well. Yes there were consequences but I still had that control. I could lose weight if I chose to and I could choose to be the way I was. I could even choose what to put in my mouth and what to do with my body. Again there were consequences but I was the one in control.
I could act any old way I wanted. There were, as always, consequences but they were consequences I was aware of. I had the most powerful tool I could imagine and that was control over my thoughts, words and actions. It was heady stuff to become aware of this, but it was exciting.
With that excitement came inspiration. My mind made a shift and more thoughts tumbled out. With this idea of control two side effects, I had not anticipated, appeared out of thin air. I found that when I took control of my life I became very attractive. Not to needy people either. The type of people I started to attract into my life were people who understood they controlled their lives. These people were successful and exciting to be around.
The other side effect was that sometimes, people would shift and change so they could stay around me. That meant a needy person might decide they wanted to hang out with me but it would only work if a shift occurred in them. I didn’t ask them to change. They just shifted when I decided to be in control of my life. They wanted to stay in my life so they chose to change, all – on – their – own. Now that was truly inspiring.
I made an impact on the people in my life by just being me and taking control of my life. It was the beginning of a magical journey. I was on a quest to change my mind and who wouldn’t want a map for that trip!
What types of maps do you use to control your own life?
What sorts of things did you experience when you decided to take control of yourself and your life?