Who are the people in our lives who exert power and control over us? Who are we surrendering our personal power to?
These people could well be those we love dearly, our parents, our children, our close friends, as well, of course those we struggle to love.
What are we scared of that makes us either allow this behaviour in others or feel we have the right to wield this power and control over someone else?
These are questions I’ve been asking myself recently and suspect that they are universal. Are they issues that affect us more in midlife? Perhaps. So much is shifting at this time of life. This is a time of transition for us – brought on by ourselves at times , sometimes not by choice and sometimes just the course of life. During times of uncertainty and shift we often desperately try to cling on to the status quo and keep all things in order – quite frankly that’s like trying to herd cats. It’s never going to work.
FEAR……. Such a powerful little word……….What causes fear in your life? Change? The unknown? Indecision? Uncertainty? Doubt? Of things not working out as we’d planned?
Are we controlling our children, our partners,our exes, our colleagues because we are fearful of them changing beyond our recognition? Of uncertainty about our relationships? Because we don’t know what the future has in store for us?
To live in fear is to entirely miss the point of living.
In the immortal words of Yoda “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”…………and you know what it’s US who will be doing the suffering.
It is impossible to control everything and everyone around us. It will make us ill in attempting to do so. What if we were to try some of the following?
- allow others to disagree with us and have different points of view – not everybody has to like or approve of us………..at least 1 in 4 people don’t like us as it is!
- allow our children to make their own mistakes as they move from being dependent children to young adults – obviously I’m not suggesting we relinquish our role as parent, just give them a little slack to make up their own mind.
- allow our partners to make their own decisions
- notice how we feel when we decide to let go of the reigns of control even every so slightly – does it feel good or scary?
- understand that when people ‘control’ us we are complicit in this behaviour – we allow them to behave in this way. Ask ourselves just how long we’re prepared to tolerate it……….and then decide what needs to be done and stick with it.
And when I am fearful the words of Marianne Williamson which sit bluetacked to my fridge resonate the most…………
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure……….Our playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you………”
Take another look at that picture about……….is it time to move on, lighten up a little and laugh more?