Control the Chaos

451876 mario potterImagine this: you can make everyone around you do exactly as you want them to, literally with a snap of your fingers. When you hold out your hand in silent demand, you receive what you want. Always. You point your finger, and arch an eyebrow, and your will is done.

Does that sound good to you? Would you like to live in a world where everyone else is your minion and you simply run the show?

 

This level of control might feel safe and easy; therefore, desireable. However, safe and easy rarely, if ever, provide forward momentum, learning, or growth. For me, that forward momentum is the point of being alive, so I had to give up control, little by little. Once upon a time, I craved control and created its illusion as a daily occupation.

But why? Actual control, "real" control is utterly impossible in the chaos of life, so why did I crave it? Why do you seek it? Why do we humans try to create systems to control the chaos created by many billions of individuals, not to mention animals, landscapes, weather, art...?

In the language of the 7 Childhood Treasures, a high need for/use of mechanisms for control indicates the need for further mining of three gems that are directly related: Independence (2 years old), Negotiation (4 years old), and Compromise (6 years old). The boundaries of thought, emotion, and longing that we are programmed to find and develop at two years provide the foundation for the capacity to get what we want in a world of others' wants at 4 years. Together, the capacities for Independence and Negotiation provide the oppurtunity to let go, as a way to hang on. That is, we learn to give up some of what we want, to ensure continuance of relationships that are important to us: we Compromise. 

If your primary relationships are marred by your need to control and manage every detail, then the boundaries of a two-year-old are the place to start. Begin again to mine your Treasure of Independence, by finding some of your edges. 

Start with your mental boundary as the easiest. Identify something that you understand to be true: an opinion/thought for which you have seen sufficient evidence that you accept it as factual. You're looking for a solid belief/idea you hold; something about which you feel confident. Whatever it is, notice these three things about it for the next seven days:

  • What you feel, say, and do when someone hears your opinion and then disagrees; expressing an opinion/thought/idea that is opposite to or significantly different from yours. 
  • How you respond when someone tries to refute your opinion/thought/idea with evidence different from what you knew or by questioning the strength or accuracy of your evidence.
  • What you feel and think about the persons who disagree with your opinion/idea or question/refute your evidence.

Examining these reactions can tell you the strength and health of your mental boundary, and provide direction for a deeper mining of the Treasure of Independence. 

The pointed finger, arched eyebrow, and snapped fingers can't work with everyone, or for always. Boundaries of thought, feeling, and longing are far more effective tools for reduing the chaos in relationships, especially when compared with trying to control it by making everyone your minion!

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Dr. L. Carol Scott.

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