30 days of self love – seeking control

Posted: September 11, 2010 at 11:00 am

Welcome to the weekend! I hope it finds all of you well. Remember to say a prayer or take a moment of remembrance for those that died on September 11 nine years ago, their families, and those who have fought for this country since.


Wouldn’t life appear lovely if everything went as we hoped? If all our desires arose simply by giving our head a nod, wrinkling our nose, or snapping our fingers?

What if we could determine everything about our lives without any road blocks and things always went our way? I wish I could find a way to break it to you gently, but wake up…that world does not exist! We think it does because we think we have more control than possible.

We can only control our own decisions in addition to our attitudes, reactions, and perspectives. Even controlling our own decisions does not guarantee control over the direction they take us. Unexpected situations still happen. We still may face challenge and opposition. We may encounter surprises along the way, good or bad.

Instead of allowing such truths to costume the world as a frightening landscape, we should understand that loopy and wild roller-coaster of the unexpected makes life…life. Those areas which we cannot control force us to grow and encounter new experiences. They open up the means to learn to love and forgive others. They encourage us to adopt new ways of thinking and increase our knowledge. Sometimes, they even bring us to places better than we could have imagined.

Our lives turn into unbearable, desolate waste-grounds when we seek control over everything. Nothing will ever turn out exactly as we envision and disappoint will always arise. That isn’t to say we should have no expectations or desires out of life so that all circumstances seem good. We must avoid the allure of controlling others or certain things about ourselves to feel reassurance. Find reassurance for life in the positive choices made each day for all areas of our lives. Seek confidence in the ability to keep an open mind to new avenues. Encounter hope in the belief that, even when may not go as intended, opportunities still exist. Give up control and gain life.

What things in life might you try to control? I can get caught up in the future. Once our two kids become more involved with preschool or school, P & I always intended for me to go back to work in some fashion. Even though that is at least two years away, I already find myself anxious about if I will have the option of doing things I love (writing, blogging, something fitness related) for that bit of additional income. Or if I will end up stuck in something that does not fulfill me quite as much. I know I have no control over it and all I can do is work on my passions as much as it fits in my life now….then trust God to do the rest. And trust that wherever His path lies, no better one exists for me.

Quotes to Reflect On
I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following. ~ Mohandas Gandhi

It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there's nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized. ~Wayne Dyer

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42 Comments to “30 days of self love – seeking control”
  1. Astrid says:

    Tina, I try to control my future, too. I try to control how quickly my proposal gets turned in and when I graduate. I try to control where I will live, what I will do, etc in five or so years. These are not things I can control, but I just wish I knew all of the answers right now. But wouldn’t that take the fun out of life? I need to let go and ride everything out with open eyes, heart, and mind.
    I control many other things in my life, and I will be writing about this later on my blog. Thanks again for this Tina!

    • Tina says:

      Then we would just be an auto pilot without really experiencing life. It’s hard to let go of control…and I think we may always seek it in some way in our lives. We just have to be aware of those urges. 😉

  2. It would be easier to say what things I DON’T try to control! In fact, I recently posted a blog entry about this very issue and my fear that my new found fitness something I pursue because it is something I can control… http://www.strengthformyjourney.com/2010/09/i-need-need.html

    As it has been said, ninety percent of the things we worry about we have no control over. Yet still I worry and fret, and feel anxious when faced with uncertainty. I am not a spontaneous person. I make lists. I plan. I contemplate scenarios before they exist so I will be able to handle them when they do occur. Fortunately they rarely occur, because they tend to be car wreck/disaster type events. Why couldn’t I instead contemplate joyful scenarios? Why can’t I expect that someone is late because the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes people came knocking on their door announcing they had just won a hundred thousand dollars?

    I am getting better about letting worry go. I am getting better about consciously trying to let go of my need to control my life. This past year I got a tattoo on my wrist that says, “I am here.” It has several meanings. One to help me feel less alone (To every cry of Oh Lord, He answers, I am here.) And one to keep me focused on the present. When I start to worry, and start to feel my heart race when my control is slipping away, I glance at my wrist and take a deep breath. I am here. In the present. Right now. I am here.

    Thanks again, Tina! And as someone who has spent the past 23 years working at a good (but unstatisfying) job at an insurance company ~ do not settle for working just for a paycheck. It is so easy to say you’ll just do it for awhile, until you can pursue a fulfilling career, but once you start getting the paycheck, it is hard to step away. What about faith based online personal training? It seems there could be a market for that…and with your skills at motivating and encouraging…I’m just saying…

    • Tina says:

      I’ve actually thought about that even! 🙂 I get many different ideas so it will just come with time and seeing where God leads me. I trust He has a plan. 🙂

      And I read that post of yours. I could really relate to a lot of it. I can struggle with worrying about things a lot. And whenever Peter is more than 30 mins late I always immediately think “oh no! what if he was in an accident? I couldn’t live without him…” and spaz myself out until 10 mins later when he comes strolling in. Worry is evil.

  3. I try to control the future as well, but over the past few months I’ve really let go of it and worked on going with the flow. It’s easier than I thought!
    However, I do get caught up in my job situation as well. I’m looking for a career I love and to leave the job I don’t love. And, you know have a baby in the middle, haha!

  4. homecookedem says:

    I definitely like to be in control… I’ve let go a LOT, but still have areas to work on. Right now, I’m worried about how things will be once the baby’s here and I have to go back to work… things like how will pumping fit into the day, how will I get everything done, will I get enough sleep to function as a teacher, when will I have time to workout… I just have to step back and let God be the one in control of it all. It will all workout and it won’t be long until it will be summer! 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Yep. It will all work out and things do eventually get easier and in a groove. You’re busy but you just do it. There’s no other option after all. LOL

      And I’m much less of a control freak these days too. I used to have to know plans like weeks in advance or would freak and every tiny detail to prepare. Now I think the future is my biggest “what can I do to fix it MY way” issue.

  5. homecookedem says:

    P.S. I now blame you for the intense chocolate craving I’m having now after seeing that box of chocolates! 😉

  6. Kat says:

    I am an HORRID worrier. I never let God take control. I am constantly battling to do it myself, and I dont know why. When I give it to Him and LET IT GO, He takes it away. There is no need to worry when God is in control because He is going to make sure everything is alright. I KNOW this. I TRUST Him. But sometimes it is hard to trust myself. I cant trust that I will be able to handle what God gives me in return. So instead, I worry. Oh how much easier life would be without worry!! There would be a lot less need for botox right? 😉
    Great post as always!!

  7. Kelly says:

    Interesting post…I think we all try to control most things in life. We feel we know what is best. I remember a sermon my dad gave once about HIS WILL BE DONE. Ok just a bit of a warning this may offend some. But if you are living in the center of God’s will his will is perfect in every way. That is MUCH easier said than done when he gave us free will. I sure use mine a lot. Sometimes I find it hard to trust him. But how can you not trust him when he knows what is best for you. I will say that I wouldn’t change anything in my life. All that has happened to me, with me and because of me has made me the person I am today. I may not be perfect but I like who I am for the most part.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    • Tina says:

      So true! Whenever I think about it…it’s like…how can I deny God? He KNOWS everything, including what is best for me.

    • Melinda says:

      Ahh..the ole Proverbs 3:5-6 idea. I repeat those verses to myself so often!!! Trust, Melinda. Have faith, Melinda. But I have to say, I never learned to trust more than when my daughter got her drivers license, because the minute she was out the door I had no control. So, I gave God the reins (not that He didn’t really already have them.) So hard to trust though, even when I know He knows best. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. The one thing I know I have no control over is my future. I have definitely learned that every day is new day and all I can do is make the best of it. I hate the question where do you see yourself in 5 years (or however many years) because I don’t know. I just want to be healthy and happy…and I want my family to be healthy and happy. I can’t forecast road blocks so I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. I just take it one day at a time. I know there is a path for me, but I don’t know what that is and honestly you just have to trust that you can accept that path no matter what it is.

  9. Shayna says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m such a control freak! I want to be in control of everything. I’m also impulsive and juvenile, so this is not a good combo 😉 Since I moved to Hawaii, I’ve slowly been learning that God is more than capable of doing the God-thing and I just need to relax and let Him drive, because I myself am bad at doing the God-thing (He one ups me with omnipotence). Relinquishing control is very therapeutic and freeing once you know that you’re relinquishing it to Someone so perfect, merciful and loving.

    • Tina says:

      Yea…God can always one up us, huh? 😉 When I really think about it, it never makes sense why I would try to control my future. He knows whats best for me after all.

  10. Simply Life says:

    Great quotes and reminders!!!

  11. Jolene says:

    This is a great post (again! I know I keep saying it!) and another I can definitely relate to. For me, I try to control finding love again, and it’s hard to just release that and hope and pray that it will happen. It’s a daily process.

  12. Oh Tina, I try to control everything. But I know I need to stop, make goals and work towards those goals and where I end up is where I end up. All of this is part of God’s plan and I just need to trust in Him. I need to work with my husband to have a plan in place, and I think communication between the two of us helps me tone down the controlling aspect of my personality. And as always, prayer helps me too!

  13. Jess says:

    Um yeah, you could say I have control issues. I’m a Type-A and perfectionist by nature so I, of course, seek control in EVERYTHING I do. Seriously. I have such a hard time letting go and just going with the moment. I’m trying very hard – and my husband has been an amazing source of encouragement as I try to break some of this perfectionism/control-freakishness in me a little bit. Seriously, this 30 days series is so amazing, it’s like every post is speaking to me! You are amazing, Tina!!

    • Tina says:

      Peter is very laid back too and he’s helped me let go of a lot of my control tendencies too. It’s good to have that balance.

  14. Heather says:

    well, for a few days i really tried to control faces of beauty but the thing is that movement isn’t about me…it’s about every woman! once i realized that i was able to let go of the control freak routine and just LOVE the women involved for joining up and putting themselves out there!

  15. Control is an issue for me. I like to have it 🙂 I’m learning as I get older that I am happier when I let go a little. I’m not so stressed and often the outcome is something better than I would’ve gotten if I had steered it towards. My husband is so go-with-the-flow that it balances me and may be rubbing off a little.

    • Tina says:

      I’ve found the same thing. When I let go of control things usually end up better and I’m able to enjoy life more in the process.

  16. Penny Lane says:

    I try and control everyone in my life! So many people have told me to let go and let God, but growing up in a house of addiction it is hard to just let someone else take the reins and lead, even if that being is all knowing all powerful and would never lead me to harm. I would really like to not white knuckle it through life and worry that I can’t control every event that happens, but honestly I don’t know how to let go. I honestly don’t like me when I am this person.
    TMI hormones are raging completly today. Thanks for understanding;)

    • Tina says:

      I can certainly imagine that being difficult to face. You learn that you can only depend on yourself in a situation like that. I don’t have any definitive answer on how to get over the need to seek control. I guess it might begin in not trying to regain it in those situations we can’t change.

      • Penny Lane says:

        Thank you for responding Tina. I wasn’t looking for the answer this is something I really just have to ask God to heal in me. I wasn’t asking you to answer all my questions/concerns I just wanted to share my over controlling behavior:) I appreciate you taking some of our difficult topics to make us look at ourselves!

  17. Ela says:

    You are serendipitously psychic! This very topic bit me in the butt this morning before I’d even read your post!

    Here’s my response to it:

  18. haha…i’m a control freak!!! ultimately though, there’s only so much i can do, and then i have to let God do the rest. it’s something i’m learning everyday.

    thanks for sharing those quotes. i loved that one from Wayne Dyer 🙂

  19. […] September 11, 2010 Filed under: Uncategorized — Becca @ 9:43 pm Per today’s 30 Days of Self-Love post (which I didn’t read until just a few minutes ago) except sort of […]

  20. Bleah- I try to control everything! A recent move has really knocked me off my feet and reminded me I cannot control life, but life doesn’t have to control me. Who’d have guessed I’d run into my middle school best friend in the grocery store in a brand new town were I thought I new everything. All my careful planning of how I’d meet people out the window, life gave me more than I could ask for. While I’m a control freak, I feel most blessed when I don’t have control.

  21. Hi Tina,

    Thank you for dropping by my blog. Congrats on your pregnancy!

    As much as I would like to deny it, I think I’m a big control freak. Everything has to be done perfectly and the way I picture it or I start freaking out. I call it being organized, hubby calls it OCD, lol. Now that I have two little ones, they’ve taught me to let loose a little and that not everything can be under my control. Being a mother yourself, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that when you have kids, you cannot do what you want when you want…sigh. My kiddies are teaching me so much everyday.

    • Tina says:

      I completely agree. I learned so much about letting go of control and expecting things to be “just so” after having my daughter. Every day is something unexpected. LOL

      Thanks for saying hello. 🙂

  22. Thank you for this post, Tina! This is definitely an area that I’m always working to improve upon. I’m a perfectionist about many things and I sometimes wish I could control all the circumstances around me. I’d have my life planned out to the last day if I could! I constantly work to remind myself that, as you said, we just need to relax a bit and LIVE!

    Have a great day 🙂

  23. […] catching up from this weekend, Day 11′s topic for 30 Days of Self Love was strangely appropriate for what happened last week. If you read my […]

  24. I love having control. My main mental issues stem from the knowledge that I will never have the complete control that I desire. My boyfriend’s refrain that “everything is going to be okay” has helped me realize that my lack of control does not mean a lack of life. Whether things go as planned or not, they will at least go SOMEWHERE, and I can only be thankful and prepared for that journey.

  25. […] wouldn’t it? Day 11 of my 30 days of self-love blogging challenge comes with the theme of ‘seeking control’. When I scrolled down and saw the title, the first thing I thought was, “Holy […]

  26. Deborah says:

    This 30 days thing is a bit more challenging than I’d like. I can’t write about whatever the hell I want to write about and it’s far more time-consuming than my usual rants / blithers!

    But, having said all of that (ie. had a whinge) I guess it is getting me thinking about some things I wouldn’t usually write about (Gifts of my body – for F’s sake!) and makes me realise that some things (ie. this issue of control) I write about CONSTANTLY and just go around and around in circles!

    I got to cheat a bit here and just linked it to something I’d already written. Most amazing though was the previous post, written a month before 12WBT started… when I was still contemplating the program – as opposed to weight loss surgery.

    What a difference a couple of months makes!!!



  27. […] for now, I just wanted to type a little bit about how I am feeling and it also kind of ties in with day 11‘s reflection from the Faith, Fitness, Fun, Seeking Control.  Sometime I catch myself wishing […]

  28. […] Today, Tina asks, ‘what things in life might you try to control?’ and invites us to see how we get caught up in controlling behaviors, against our highest good. My name is Ela and I am a control freak! My goodness, this is an appropriate topic! Just this morning, I almost lost all of my feel-good and hard-won equanimity because I noticed while stretching that my thighs were almost touching! I know that chelating makes me retain water, and that it’s getting toward that end of the month as well. I know that eating more carbs tends to make you retain water too, and what with it being berry season I have been doing a bit of that too. But man, I was furious and distraught – and now, ashamed! And, even before I’d turned on the computer and read today’s Reflection on self- love, I had identified this perturbation and upset as being entirely due to a feeling of lack of control. I want to choose the amount of space between my thighs and to control it and keep it constant. Part of me recognizes that this is crazy. But part of me wants to control everything – I want to make sure that everyone is well and happy and balanced; I fix all kinds of goodies for Phil, hoping that he won’t eat as many candy bars with trans fats and HFCS and packaging and expensiveness – that’s (verging on) controlling too!  I guess controlling and perfectionism go closely together. It certainly feels like the same kind of territory that I’m traversing when I’m getting freaked out because dinner’s late, or whatever. It hadn’t necessarily occurred to me before that being controlling is opposed to loving oneself. But having a fixed idea of how things should be is surely the opposite of accepting. A good thing to ponder. Thanks again to Tina! 9/11 – a somber day of remembrance for everyone, during Rosh Hashanah, no less! I watched a movie last night called ‘Etz Limon’ – ‘Lemon Tree’ – (Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles) about the ways that tensions on the West Bank border intrude into the lives of real people. It was a touching story, sad and apparently insoluble. On a very abstract level, I just enjoyed seeing that familiar territory, hearing Hebrew and Arabic again, feeling my close connection to that part of the world, and yet my removal from its troubles. Hope everyone’s having a great weekend: it’s good to remember, but the now continues! Don’t forget my Amazing Grass giveaway –  and the Almost Vegan Blog is giving away some ‘Hail Merry’ goodies too! love to all Posted in 30 days of self love, control, giveaways, movie, remembrance […]

  29. Xandria says:

    I try to control my relationships. And that does not make me or others happy.
    I try to control my financial status with school, but that’s hard to do.
    There are probably other things. But I can’t think of them right now.

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