verb (used with object), controlled, controlling.
1. to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command: The car is difficult to control at high speeds.
That zone is controlled by enemy troops.
2. to hold in check; curb:
to control a horse; to control one’s emotions.
3. to test or verify (a scientific experiment) by a parallel experiment or other standard of comparison.
4. to eliminate or prevent the flourishing or spread of:
to control a forest fire.
5. Obsolete. to check or regulate (transactions), originally by means of a duplicate register.
6. the act or power of controlling; regulation; domination or command:
Who’s in control here?
7. the situation of being under the regulation, domination, or command of another:
The car is out of control.
8. check or restraint:
Her anger is under control.
9. a legal or official means of regulation or restraint:
to institute wage and price controls.
10. Statistics. control variable (def 1).
11. a person who acts as a check; controller.
12. a device for regulating and guiding a machine, as a motor or airplane.
Source: extracts from Dictionary.com
Control is a word I had on my list to write about at a later time. Then I received a message from a friend asking if I had control as a topic. Because of this request, I shifted control from an, I’ll get to it later status, to a, I could write about this now status.
Except of course, the more I tried to control the situation, the blanker my screen would stay. If that’s even possible. It seemed legit at the time. Each time I’d attempt to write about control, the more my blank screen stared blankly back at me!
It’s taken me several attempts to write about control, simply because I kept trying to control control.
If you haven’t already guessed, control doesn’t work that way.
The more control you think you have in any given situation, it’s highly likely the less control you actually have, if any at all.
For in life, Universal Law states, the only control we have in reality, is how we control our internal, not our external.
Or was that Confucius?!
For circumstances come and go.
Ideally I want to believe that I can control them.
Happiness et al.
No really, can I?
The honest answer here is surely not.
Again, we like to believe it’s so.
Anything happening outside of us is uncontrollable on our part. Sure we can contribute and steer, to a degree. Not control though. Influence, yes. Control, no.
I know I said earlier we can control the internals. I don’t mean all the internals.
Hair colour, et al.
I mean, feelings of control. Or how we feel about control.
Our thoughts and behaviours. That’s all the control we have.
Our ability to respond to a situation rather than allowing it to control us by being triggered and, or reacting.
For control doesn’t like to play alone. You’d been genius to think so. It’s one word, one action, control. Yet control is part of a gang, sure it’s the gang leader, however it never goes out on its own. Expectations, manipulation, righteousness, fear and so forth, they’re all members of controls gang and they’re always hanging around with control. You never just get control on its own.
In any given moment the only thing I can control is how I respond in that given moment. That by itself, takes an ability to be responsive to what’s going on around me, rather than reactive and or triggered by it.
Take feelings of being stressed for example. I can control how stressed I feel or if I even choose to feel stressed at all. In a few slow, deep breathes, my stress levels can be significantly reduced or eradicated completely. It’s my choice.
To control how I respond takes practice.
Lots and lots of practice.
I’m still practicing.
COUNT TO 10, IF NEED BE.
A practice I’d imagine many a person engages in, as I’m certain I’m not alone on my quest.
It’s not a learned response, to be in control of how you respond to a situation, especially when it comes to owning our feelings.
My parents didn’t teach me how to express my feelings freely.
My teachers didn’t either.
Nor did my employees.
Doctors and nurses.
Neither did my husband.
I’m sure at times they tried to control how I felt, what I thought and how I even behaved.
What are you crying for?
Stop that, you’re embarrassing me.
Why can’t you get over yourself and stop being so …, you can fill in the blank.
And on it goes.
It wasn’t until after I’d had my own children that I learnt about being able to control how I feel and think. By controlling our thoughts and feelings, we do indeed get to control our behaviour.
I can willingly choose how I feel.
I can willingly choose my thoughts..
I can willingly choose how I behave.
Complete control of my emotions.
Emotions being emotions too.
Complete control of my thoughts.
Siphoning out thoughts that don’t serve me.
Choosing the empowering ones.
Choosing the real ones.
Choosing the facts at hand.
Complete control of my behaviour.
Responding with behaviour that reflects my thoughts and feelings.
Behaving within my control.
Behaving within my boundaries.
Suppressing my feelings was the learned experience for a long time.
Or expressing them how I thought you’d want me to express them, as to not upset or offend you.
How fucked up is that?
Your emotions, thoughts and behaviours, being your inside job, that’s all the control you have in this world.
Unless of course you have the ability for mind control.
If that’s the case, that’s a whole other blog topic in its self.
It would be amiss of me here too, to not point out that certainly, there are some extra-ordinary people in this world who have mastered the practice of being able to control their bodies in phenomenal ways, I don’t deny that, I do suggest though that that is not something the lay person can do.
Funnily enough, or perhaps not so funnily, the more you think you have a situation controlled, handled, dealt with, done, dusted, ta da, I’m sure the less control you actually have over it and I’m betting the more that “controlled” situation will reappear, layer upon layer upon layer.
I’ve dealt with this shit, why does it keep coming up?
You get my drift?
So if it’s not control, then what actually is it?
Choosing how we respond by choosing what feelings, thoughts and behaviours to engage with.
Freedom to be a part of everything else.
So many of these words I’ve been writing about are conspiring together.
They are an inside job.
What control do you have in your life?
Can you choose to respond?
Or do you react?