Merriam-Webster dictionary defines control as:
to direct the behavior of a person. To cause a person to do what you want.
to have power over (something/someone)
to direct the actions or function of (something). To cause (something) to act or function in a certain way.
Control equal power. Does it really?
When I was a young girl I often felt helpless unless I was in charge. Put me in a group with a leader and I floundered. Make me the leader and I flourished, felt empowered, in control.
As an adult in a bad marriage, I learned to take control. I became the boss. Controlled the discipline of my children, controlled the finances, controlled every aspect of my life. Why? At the time, I felt it was necessary. Somebody had to take charge, after all.
Control meant security. Control meant no surprises. (that didn't work at all) Control meant I was in charge of my life, my destiny. If I told everyone what to do, how to do it, when to do it then all was right with the world when they obeyed.
But, what if they didn't? I was out of control and my world fell apart.
Control is also about lack of trust. I didn't trust those around me, therefore, I had to control my environment.
I had to relinquish control in order to have true peace, true freedom, true happiness and joy.
* I had to put my faith, my trust, my belief into action. God. God, ultimately is the only one who is ever completely in control. I had to believe that he had my best interest at heart. Things might not go my way - ever - but His plan will work because it is His plan - not mine.
* I had to read my Bible. Over and over and over again until it was written on my heart and I understood and believed.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Psalm 9:10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Matthew 6:34 became my daily mantra. Controlling people are anxious people. We worry about everything all the time.
When I finally was able to put my trust fully in God, my creator, the one who died on the cross for me, then I was free. Free to trust. Free to love. Free to let my hair down and relax and know that the world isn't going to fall apart if things did not go my way every second of the day.
Do you know someone like this?
Control takes on different visuals. The woman who's life looks immaculately perfect. She always looks perfect. Her children are dressed like a catalogue. Her husband is dressed perfectly. Look in her eyes. What do you see?
The man who stands up tall, speaks with authority, has an air of confidence when everyone has eyes on him. Look at him when he thinks no one is looking. What do you see?
The person in church, at work, in the gym who you see occasionally. Ask them how they are and their answer is always, 'Fine'. Look them in the eye and ask, "Really?" What do you see.
The person you try to reach out to but never answers your e-mail, text, phone call but in person speaks kindly but never mentions the contact attempts. You know they are hurting but do not ever speak of it. When they do speak, it is methodical, planned out, often painful to watch. Look in their eyes. What do you see?
The couple you frequently socialize with. When ordering, who glances at whom when placing orders? Who speaks harshly to the children at the table? Who 'appears' to be in charge of the household? Who dictates where the couple goes? Who they socialize with? The budget for their outings? Look in their eyes. What do you see?
The person with weight issues. A person's weight is often a matter of control. When I was in deep distress I lost a ton of weight. I've known many anorexics. Anorexia is a control issue. Eating disorders - to eat or not to eat - is a control issue. What a person does with his or her own body which is unhealthy is a form of control. I can control what I eat. I can control what I throw up. I can control how much I exercise. I can control pain with cutting, piercing, tattoos.
The person who's house seems immaculate. Even the person who's house is a total shambles. Is it clean because they take pride in their home, or is it something else? Is everything exactly in its place all the time? (I'll bet there is a room that show's what their life is really like.) Is the messy house a collection of junk? Can they never throw anything away?
What do you do in your own life or in the lives of people who meet these qualities?
2) Read and study your Bible.
3) Talk to them.
4) Talk to someone.
5) Talk to God.
You are not in control. God is. The only thing you can control is your thought and what comes out of your mouth, and even then, if your heart is not right with God, Satan can take over that, too.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Finally. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Once I gave it all to God, I mean really gave it all - no taking it back when it's convenient or he's not doing it fast enough - my soul found rest. Life isn't perfect, things don't go my way, but I know, I really KNOW that God loves me, has a plan for me, and this world is not my home. Heaven is where I belong, where I will be for eternity. Because I know that now, I can say no, no I don't have it.
Proverbs 16: 9
A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
A few good books about learning to let go (fiction) available on Amazon