I’ve realized something about myself lately. It’s such a shock to me that a part of me still can’t believe it’s true, but I know deep down that it is…
…I, Jen Saunders, am a Control Freak.
And even though my dear, sweet, beautiful husband was surprised to see me label myself as a Control Freak in this post, I’m sure there are people who know me who are rolling their eyes right now, thinking “Well, duuuuuh!”
I’m sure it’s even been pointed out to me a few times.
But I honestly had no idea it was a quality I possessed. Not obsessively, anyway.
When I think of a control freak, I think of characters like Monica Gellar from Friends or Claire Dunphy from Modern Family, not me; Jen-the-hippy-artist-girl! How could I be a control freak?!
I’ll tell you how.
I’m a control freak when I get angry because one of my friends is getting angry about something that they have no control over and so should just relax instead.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking negatively about people who think negatively. Yup.
I want people to just do things my way because then everything will be alright.
The other day, I became annoyed when the old woman next door was speaking loudly to herself in Italian outside my window… while I was trying to meditate. Really, Jen?! Really?!! That’s just laughable.
Maybe all this doesn’t seem like it fits under the label of ‘Control Freak,’ but it does. All the fear, anger and annoyances I experience arise when I can’t control the outcome, or I can’t control what a person is saying or doing.
A lot of my annoyances and anger arises when people aren’t doing what I think they should be doing, when they aren’t living how I think they should be living. I try to control their behaviour and their lives because I think they’d be happier if they just did what I wanted them to do.
And maybe they would be happier if they followed the SuperAwesome Book of Jen.
But then again, maybe they wouldn’t.
Either way, it’s not up to me. It doesn’t even have anything to do with me. It doesn’t matter how much I try to control someone’s habits, behaviour or life, people will always do what they want to do. Always.
And that’s good. That’s better than good, that’s perfect. That means the only person I need to control – the only person I can control – is myself. Phew!
“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”
~ Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.
I only became aware of this aspect of myself through the spiritual work I’ve been doing since reading Spirit Junkie and learning more about A Course In Miracles. I’ve been becoming more consciously aware of what triggers negativity within myself, how to witness it, forgive it and release it.
I wasn’t surprised that my biggest triggers were pulled around certain people or certain parts of the media, but I was surprised when I dug deeper than ‘That person makes me so angry,’ and started asking myself bigger questions that forced me to look within rather than without.
Since working through all this, I’ve been able to control my emotions and my inner world so much better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s something I will always have to be aware of – I am only human after all. But these days, I rarely get carried away in anger or fear, and when I do it doesn’t take me long to notice it, reframe it and use it as an opportunity for healing and see it as an invitation to love more.
And an amazing thing has happened. The more I do this – the more I pray and meditate and study this miracle work – the more forgiving I become of the people and situations that used to make my blood boil and my heart ache.
In fact, I’m actually feeling more grateful for them every day.
The people and situations that bring up the most fear, anger and negativity in me, are the people who are helping me to heal and teaching me to choose love in a way that others can’t. They are teaching me to accept everyone for exactly who they are – not who I want them to be – just as they are. I’m learning to love and accept everyone and everything just as it is.
The more I let go of control, the more room there is for love.
“The moment I let go of it was the moment
I got more than I could handle.
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down.”
~ Alanis Morissette, Thank U.
I see now that everyone in my life, whether they brought me love or fear, joy or pain, and whether they are still in my life or not, have been teachers.
Everyone in our lives is a teacher, here to teach us one lesson only – to love. More.
The lesson is always love.
Everyone, from the people in front of you in the line at the supermarket to your worst enemy or most cherished friend, is a messenger.
The message is always love.
People from your past, people in your present, and the people in your future are all Angels.
They always bless you with love.
If you only let them.
Speaking of love, this post about the Venus transit marking the return of the Divine Feminine is must-read for every Wild Woman out there. Reading this will speak to your soul and ignite your divinity. Share it with your tribe and spread the wildfire.