One of the things I have found the most challenging on this trip to self-discovery I find myself on is learning I can’t possibly have control of everything. That’s right, I said it. I’ll even repeat it: I can’t possibly have control over everything. And no the sky didn’t fall nor did I drop dead upon writing it.
Now, just because I can write it doesn’t mean I like it. I most certainly do not. I like being in control. Not so much because other people aren’t capable. More because I do it right. And for those who might have missed it, that was a joke.
First let me define what I mean when I talk about being in control. I mean receiving no help from outside sources if at all avoidable. I mean dictating the terms of all human interaction. I mean letting someone else in only so far and erecting a three foot wide twenty foot tall stone wall to keep them from getting any farther. I mean practicing the art of being the only person I need.
Why is this so important to me? One word: Safety. Safety from the unexpected. Safety from the unknown. Safety from embarrassment. Safety from having to admit I can’t do everything. Safety from dependence on people who are not dependable. Safety from those undependable people hurting me.
There you have it. Control for me is ultimately about not being hurt. If I am in control the only person who can inflict harm upon me is me. Obviously there are some significant flaws in that logic. For example it does not take into consideration madmen with chainsaws, drunk drivers or charming young men who make it difficult to remember I am in control.
Loopholes you can drive a bus through. I am well aware of this. It doesn’t change the fact that I cling to this notion with remarkable tenacity. Control is the life preserver to my drowning man.
It’s hard to try and be in control all the time. It’s exhausting. There’s a huge part of me which wants to throw up her hands and leave that crutch behind. Unfortunately it has become so ingrained in me it’s a reflex. If I want to let someone help or get past the battlements I have to maintain constant vigilance to stop myself from undermining my own best intentions.
Practice makes perfect as they say. Perhaps if I keep working at it, the whole thing will become easier. There’s really only one way to find out….