Photo by A. Blight
“How hard is it for you to put your empty clothes hanger back in the closet?!”
Boiling anger seared my veins. I snatched the plastic hanger from its perch on the bedroom door knob and flung it across the room.
Why can’t he do things the way I want them done?!
Angry thoughts rapid-fired in my mind.
Such tiny, insignificant things seemed to light fuse within me and set off explosions.
When I look back on moments like these, I’m amazed at my husband’s patience, and thankful for his grace towards me.
As a child, I always felt out of control. I couldn’t control my environment. I couldn’t control others. I couldn’t control myself.
I felt hopeless.
I entered adulthood with a new-found freedom. It was strange and wonderful all at the same time.
I was finally in control.
Then I became a wife; nobody informed me of the give-and-take this special relationship requires. Before long, those same old out-of-control feelings from before welled up again.
I felt like a caged animal. Locked behind bars. Hopeless. Helpless.
And so I did the only thing I knew. Became obsessively controlling. Of everything.
The laundry had to be folded a certain way.
The floor swept and mopped just right.
The babies’ schedules followed perfectly to a “T.”
Dinner served at a certain time.
As I became more and more controlling, my grip on the the neck of my marriage nearly choked the life out of it.
In my mind, releasing control meant giving in. My childhood taught me to fight to the end. I was simply doing what I’d been taught.
Control really doesn’t make me a winner. Control puts a murderous blade in my hand and causes me to destroy my own life.
It took many years for me to see my own obsessive need to control, and longer still to learn that when I release control, I allow God to take control.
5 ways to release control (practice, practice, practice…)
- Ask yourself why you feel so out of control.
- Think about what you’re really afraid of losing. What is at the root of that fear?
- Allow others to be themselves without judging their actions.
- Pinpoint some personal insecurities that might be the cause of your need for control.
- Graciously accept that everything won’t always go the way you expect and people will sometimes do things in different ways than you.