Giving Up Control — it’s the hardest thing for me to do

Letting someone else do it their own way.
Recognizing that perfect doesn’t exist.
Understanding that no matter how much I try to change a situation,
it may very well never change.

I have a hard time giving up control. Well, in all honestly, I’ve gotten better at it but letting go of a situation or a thought so that it can work out the way it’s supposed to is sometimes difficult for me.

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

This morning, I got up, did some laundry, organized the kitchen, and sat down at my laptop to work on more book revisions. Sounds like a reasonable morning, right? What I didn’t say was that the first thing I did was check my book sales.

It was a stupid thing to do and I know better than to check them every day (sometimes several times a day), but I just can’t help myself. Why? There’s this little thing inside me that’s somehow convinced that if I check the stats, it’ll change things. And that if I don’t check the stats, I’ll make sales fall out of favor for me, or in some way change the Path Of The Universe that will, in turn, jinx me.

I do this with other things, too. Another person may not clean the house the way I want to clean the house. Or fold the laundry the way I prefer. Or cook the way I cook…write the way I write…read the way I read…interpret the way I interpret.

Sensing a pattern here?

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

The irony of wanting to control a situation or person is that you can’t and you know you can’t, and yet you still try. Last week I wrote a post about forgiveness, and in that post I talked about how we all come from our own personal space, and that if we are to forgive we have to understand that there is a middle ground somewhere to help us get to that forgiving place. Well, control is kind of like that, too. No matter how much I encourage (sometimes demand?) someone in the house to fold laundry a certain way, they’re going to do it the way they’re comfortable. Same thing with cooking a meal or editing a story or taking photos with a new camera…you get the picture. (ha! pun intended!)

More than that, there’s only so much you can control. As a writer, I can control what I write and how I write and when I write. I can control where I promote and how I promote and when I promote. After that? There’s not much else I can do. I can only sit back and hope that things turn out well and recognize that if they don’t, well, maybe there’s a Bigger, Better Master Plan out there for me. I just have to give it the time to work out, however it will be.

So what does this all mean? It means I’ve still got more learning to do, and with that accepting that trying to control is a freaky, silly thing that gets me nowhere. And somewhere in this semi-nugget of wisdom (that took me this entire post to figure out) is a mindful practice waiting to be integrated into my life…

…Like taking a deep breath the next time something isn’t going my way, sitting back, and just accepting the situation for what it is, knowing that I’ve done all I could.

And then focusing on what I can change and moving on.

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About terriponce

I write about twists, turns, past lives and suspense.
This entry was posted in Stories Behind The Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Giving Up Control — it’s the hardest thing for me to do

  1. I certainly did a lot of checking when I offered one of my books free for Kindle. (But it was fun–now I’m compelled to read the reviews–good and bad.

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  2. Another lovely post. You have no idea how many times I’ve had this conversation with the missus! 🙂

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  3. Penn says:

    OMG. it just hit me. I folded your laundry for you when I stayed with you in Xmas 2012!! ::smack::

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  4. Penn says:

    Wow. I barely recognize my best friend I first met 18 years ago but I am becoming more and more impressed and proud of her every day. I love you Imzadi and what you have become.

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  5. terryshames says:

    Terri, I think we all face the issue of control–not enough or too much. I’m posting a blog next week on The Ladykillers about wasting time, which goes right in hand with your post today–we should have put them out in tandem! the bottom line, though, is that you are right–no matter how much we know it’s useless, sometimes it’s hard to step away from behaviors.

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