out of control

Saturday, April 3, 2010

some scenes from last evenings walk at low tide with my best girl Missy D

Control is an Illusion, Not and Answer

Insecurity creates a feeling of vulnerability. When you feel vulnerable, wanting to be in control seems like a natural, constructive desire. It may start out as a constructive desire, but a controlled life always invites anxiety and depression. Insecurity is greedy: the more control you have, the more you seek. Nothing ever makes you feel secure enough. you're doomed to chase control's carrot. As you grow desperate and pursue your "carrots" with increased agitation, you can't help but notice that depression and anxiety are becoming permanent fixture in your life.

The truth is that life cannot be controlled*. What confuses most people is the fact that control does give temporary relief. If you've managed to manipulate or cajoling life into appearing tamed and controlled, you do feel relief–for the moment. When you are desperate, this temporary relief is spelled with a capital R. If you are honest, however, you know that control is only and always an illusion. Like the eye of a hurricane, it's a false sense of calm before the remainder of the storm.

If controlling life is an impossibility–nothing more than a dangling carrot–then what's the answer? The answer is to resurrect a feeling of self-trust and confidence so that instead of controlling life, we are courageous enough just to live it.

Joseph J. Luciani - Self Coaching: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety & Depression

Woah !! my current bedside book.

Recently the cowboy and I were having what was becoming a rather heated conversation. I retreated quickly to my usual favourite spot, a small island of Insecurity in my head. We continued to speak and he finally looked across the table and said to me.

Susan, why not just let it be.

He might as well have slapped me. Let it Be ??? Let it BE ??? I thought to myself Are ya nuts ?? What kinda crazy talk is that ?? What if ?? I can't just let something be - I don't want to and actually I don't know how to. What about Plan B (not to mention B1, B2, B3 and C through K). Huh ?? I'm one of those people who, almost subconsciously, believes that worrying will form a bubble of protection around any potential worrisome item (situation, event, person or animal). This was a tres telling moment in my recent history, as Oprah calls it - la lightbulb moment - that the words Let It Be would cut so, like a knife. W-o-a-h ! again.

I have been building my own little world of complete control, quietly and unassumingly (I'm hoping), for as long as I can remember (elementary school perhaps). I've lived my life alone here in this old brick house (prior to the arrival of the Prince oAGT**), with my family of animals, for almost as long ... there was no one to question, debate, discuss or comfort my thoughts, feelings and/or actions - except me. I think that that made me feel like I needed to have even more control. Who else was looking after things if it wasn't me - if I let my control guard down ?? well... Good God everything could go to shit and even though I very often felt completely out of control and totally overwhelmed by life - my solution was always to try and apply more control.

* The truth is that life cannot be controlled - Shut Up !!! and now you're gonna tell me that there's no Santa Clause
** Sigh - Prince oAGT - the Prince of All Good Things, my cowboy


  1. I've never really thought about it before, but I think I may be the queen of "let it be". To me, control is but an illusion.

  2. I always thought I was too Judy. I always considered myself to be quite a "chilled out", relaxed person. I was telling MLou that past opinion of myself recently and she laughed (and laughed and laughed). The type of control I'm speaking about is almost completely invisible - it barely ever shows itself outside of it's cozy home in one's mind. Rarely do your acquaintances and co-workers see "it" the bad control - they see efficiency, an eagerness to please, punctuality, a person who appears to have their shit very together. They see a whole raft of good control things, but oh my thank goodness they can't see what's really going on inside that head. The only reason I can see the bad kind of control now, the one that does cause anxiety and depression, is because of how much it's made me suffer - how totally exhausting it can be and feel. And now that I've seen "it" I realize it's been with me a long, long time.

  3. The reason why the walls of our heads are so thick is because nobody is supposed to see the mess inside. I've got a special mental poking stick for not letting it be. It's mighty sharp. I understand the Cowboy's practice in theory but some of our Not Letting It Be (NLIB) muscles are strong and lean with continued use. I'm not sure how I could let it be.

    I look forward to your experience in trying.

  4. "If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it." ~Toni Morrison

  5. I've just gotten up from a lovely Saturday afternoon nap/read dans la nest of down and flannel (avec les chats-all 3 of them). I finished the book Julie & Julia which was very good and it occurred to me, while sipping my still tucked in "let's wake up and get up again" coffee, that I neglected to give credit to the cowboy for helping SO much to ease my issues around needing (desperately) at times to control most everything. In the six months I've known him he has been quietly and steadily gathering up all those things (tiny & big) that I worried so much about ... and he's put them away somewhere. He's taking care of them so I don't have to - it's not much wonder I'm freakin' crazy in love with him.

    Off now to clean out the neglected teal wagon. It's a gorgeous tres warm, sunny Spring day here in this little village. Merci for the comments - as always.

  6. I like your cowboy. If he were telling me to let it be while I wanted to worry, I probably wouldn't like him in the moment. LOL But, overall, hmm...yeah. What if there isn't anything to worry about - not even THAT THING I constantly obsess over... hmm...

  7. Even though this post touches on some jarring stuff, it is so lovely in it;s ownway. I really was moved by this line in particular:
    "I'm one of those people who, almost subconsciously, believes that worrying will form a bubble of protection around any potential worrisome item"
    --how very funny. Hmm...I do that too but yet know it won't help one bit. It never helps but am addicted to that pit feeling of worry in my belly. Ugh.

  8. And, yes, it is so very exhausting. I will find myself up for hours on end when I should be sleeping too. UGH!!

  9. So, what are you, a "Hedgehogs" perhaps? Sounds like a good book. Great .

  10. "In the six months I've known him he has been quietly and steadily gathering up all those things (tiny & big) that I worried so much about ... and he's put them away somewhere. "
    --you mean as he;s taken care of them they are now off your list and done, or do you mean he's helped you to see them in a different way?

    BTW, Susan, not sure you go back adn read any of these comments, but just an FYI: I actually went out and bought that book last night from Barnes & Noble. Looks good. It will be here in a week. I checked the library first but it was a first edition older one with non e of the new sections that I think I'd get a lot out of. thanks for the heads up on this.


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