Question of the Day: “Am I in Control?”

As a parent and a teacher of teenagers, I often wonder about control. I don’t think I have a very controlling personality, but let’s be honest. Can I even begin to discern that measure of myself? I know I have been seeing issues of control popping up in many of my interactions or even in interactions I see among the people around me. When this happens, I feel it is a message from the Universe that I should pay attention. It’s saying this is an issue for me.

Control is a tricky thing because it definitely feels within my grasp at times. A look of anger on my face will cause a student to change his errant path. A kind word or an encouraging conversation will help my son go in a better direction (at least for the time being). A good choice and some hard work and it looks as though it is paying off. But then there are the other times. Those bleak times when you are going on your merry way, doing all of the right things, and your close friends gets diagnosed with cancer. Or you just had your house painted and your living room expanded and a freak storm blows a tree on your house, destroying all of your hard work. Perhaps you were really down on your luck, and the next thing you know you find out a wealthy relative has died and left you money which will help you be set for life. Where is the control in any of that?

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Perhaps it is not all or nothing. Perhaps there is a control balance and we have control over somethings but not others. Though this would be a cruel joke because then we never know which is which and the uncertainty is frightening.

At the end of the day though, I would like to examine my workings with control. I know I struggle with it. Though I feel I comfortable when I am not “in control” of certain situations, I do think I try and exert my control over others. In my mind, I think I nobly mark it as helping and guiding, but I may just be sugar coating something much more dangerous: a false sense of control.

It is the overwhelming fear of the unknown as well as a fear of messing up that keeps me grasping at control. My mind creates a mental image of me grasping desperately at threads escaping my reach at every turn. In those moments, it allows me to see the craziness in trying to control my external events. The understanding that I can only control my reactions becomes clearer. It is both scary and comforting.

Love and Light, all.

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