Totally Out of Control

If you’re anything like me, you do a lot of talking.  Sometimes I actually stop and listen to myself.  Recently I’ve heard myself saying the same thing quite often and it finally struck me as something worth listening to. 

Lately, more times than I’d like to admit, I have heard myself saying that something, or someone is “Out of Control.”  It’s just a simple phrase.  People say it all the time.  I do.

I caught myself saying it during a quiet church service on Sunday when my baby started shrieking, exercising full lung power.  “Kid, you are out of control!”

I’ve said it numerous times lately when I have stepped outside to 40mph winds blowing the heck out of this dry New Mexico desert.  I wear contacts people!  It’s out of control.

I found myself muttering in the garden the other day as I was pulling weeds where I had just pulled weeds only days before.  The pesky things just keep popping up.  They’re out of control. 

And you know, I’m right.  All of those things are out of my control.  In fact, a lot of things are out of my control.  I know that, I say.  I’m not a control freak or anything like that, I say.  Yet I find myself frequently lamenting my inability to control my kids, the weather, desert plant life, the government, door to door salesmen, etc. 

What it really comes down to is this:  I am out of control. 

Not only is controlling my kids (or the weather, or my local politicians) not really a good idea, it is not even possible.  It is not my job to be in control of anything or anyone but myself.  I need to be reminded of this.  When I am trying to control someone or something else I place my focus out there and when I think the problems and the solutions lie anywhere but with me, I’ve lost control of myself.   I need to be reminded of this too.   When I can let go of the thought that I need to be in control of things outside myself, I find life unfolding all around me just the way it is meant to be.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”
Joseph Campbell
I am learning that letting go is good.
Letting go means I stop trying to do the impossible – controlling things that are out of control.  Letting go means that I am free to focus on what is possible – taking care of myself.  When I take care of myself, gently and kindly, I am a better person and a better parent. 
So my kid is screaming in church and I think people are probably staring at me, hating me.  She is out of control, but I want her to be quiet.  In that moment that I let go, all is well.  She is out of my control and that’s okay.  As soon as I stop trying to control the situation I remember that I love my crazy screaming kid.  Since I am no longer occupying myself with the thought that I need her to be quiet, I can see that she is tired, hungry, and needs a break.  Now, I know what I can do for her and for myself. I can take control of myself, be the kind of parent I want to be, and be gentle with my kid. 
I can’t make people behave.  I can’t force outcomes.  I surely can’t stop the wind.  I can let it go, and letting go is good.
What is “out of control” in your life?
Is there something you can let go of this week that will bring you peace? 
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