In my late 20s I decided to enter therapy and see what part I played in my divorce. I wanted to make sure this never happened again in order to not bring more hurt to my children. Little did I know that I needed to guard my heart and not bring more hurt to myself either.
You see, I thought I was tough. I thought I could handle everything. I learned many, many important lessons from the 9 months I was in therapy. I learned what love is and what it is not, I learned what boundaries were and how to implement them (I had no clue what a boundary was!!), I learned to say no and that it was okay to say no and I learned that it was okay to make a mistake. I literally didn't know it was okay to make a mistake. How weird is that?!?
This journey ultimately resulted in a diminished need for control and I gained a peace from allowing things not in my control to simply "be." It was so freeing to finally be at peace!!
Whenever I pick back up the desire to control the outcome through expectations or plain wrong thinking, I get hurt either through the sadness of being let down (unmet expectations) or via another's poor choices that impact them painfully (maybe the people I love did not listen to my input).
The key to control is this: the opposite of control is not giving up. The opposite of control is trust.
Trust that the things we have no control over are going to be okay. Trust that other people can figure out their lives even when they make mistakes. Trust that not everyone and everything has to be going our way to be okay. This is where life gets peaceful.
Most importantly, when we trust God then we obtain that peace that surpasses ALL understanding. When we trust Him is when we can be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.
Just for today, every time you think about controlling a situation, can you stop and tell God you need His help because this situation is out of your control? You can? Great!!
And by the way, do that tomorrow, and the next day and the next... and before you know it you will see that your life is grounded in peace.
Things do not have to be my way to be okay.