Everyday

Changing who is in control

Change is a necessary evil in life.  It can be so hard and so rewarding all at once.

Without going into great detail, my husband and I went to our therapy session last night and one thing that we discussed was being able to let go of control.  No one likes to feel like they are out of control, but there is a fine line that you walk when it comes to just controlling your actions and not trying to control the actions of another.

We discovered, when you inadvertently try to control another person, it can really change the dynamic of the relationship you have with that person.  For example, a husband and wife can turn into a parent and child relationship if one person is trying to control the other.  Most people don’t even realize what they are doing because, of course, we always think we are just trying to do whats best for our partner.  But maybe what we think is best for them, really isn’t.  And maybe it isn’t our job to point those things out.  Of course couples (or anyone in any type of relationship with another person:  parent/child, friends, boss/employee, etc) need to be able to express their thoughts and feelings about certain situations with their partners.  The person on the receiving end is also allowed to voice their opinions and feelings.  When we run into issues is when we try to persuade each other that our thoughts and feelings are more valid than theirs.

Trying to let go of this learned behavior is a challenge all of its own.  The dynamic of trying to control others is learned.  In both of our cases, but in very different ways, we experienced being controlled or watching people in our lives be controlled, as children.  My husband’s experience with control was that he never really had any control over himself as a child.  He was deprived his “voice” from a young age and with his lack of control, came fear.  My experience with control as a child was a little different.  As an only child, I personally always felt like I was in control of everything that I did because I didn’t need to worry about one of my peers/siblings telling me otherwise.  But I witnessed (what I feel was) the imbalance of control in my parents.  I had to laugh when our therapist asked where I felt like I learned about control in my childhood?  My response was “mom was always in control of everything”.  I literally laughed out loud just thinking about it.  I grew up in a household where if momma wasn’t happy, then no one was!  (I love you very much mother, and this is not a negative reflection of you, just the truth from a child’s eyes.)

As a side note, my mother had also learned about control with negative connotations.  She was forced to have to take control of her own life and her mother’s life/wellbeing at a seemingly young age when her father passed away unexpectedly.  My grandmother and mother both experienced a huge lack of control in their lives when this happened.  My grandmother succumbed to her fears, which unfortunately left my mother to pick up the pieces.  Right when she probably felt the greatest lack of control in her life (facing the loss of a parent), my mother was forced to literally shift from being a daughter to being a parent/partner to her mother.  She had to take care of everything because her mother couldn’t deal with the traumatic loss.  It was sink or swim situation and unfortunately it shaped her perception of control from that day forward.

Later in our session we discussed my blog post from yesterday about letting my husband drive my car (my baby).  The anxiety I was feeling from this was literally just control rearing its evil head again.  I was anxious because once that car left our house, I had no control over what could happen to it.  My husband could spill coffee in it.  Someone could park too close to it and dent our door with theirs.  It could hail today.   Those things could still happen to me as well, but in my head, I felt like I could prevent (control the outcome) them from happening if I was there.

Learning to deal with the anxiety of letting go of control is very uncomfortable but very necessary.  Later in our session my husband said he wished that I could better understand the traumas that he went through as a child.  That if I could just understand I would be able to understand why he does the things he does and how hard it is for him to change those negative actions.  I told him, that even though I may never know what he went through, I do understand how hard it is to change.  My letting him drive my car is not the same as the lack of control he had over himself when he was a child.  I explained to him that I understood that.  But the anxiety and uncomfortable feelings that come with trying to change one’s self is universal.  Letting go of past negative connotations can be very difficult.  Any form of change can be difficult.

But without change, there can be no growth; and without growth, nothing changes.

I think light bulbs went on in both of our heads last night.  We changed the way we looked at each other and ourselves.  We learned that our relationship is much more important than the control we try to inflict on each other.  I also learned that even though people can come from very different backgrounds we all face the same struggles as humans.  That was very eye opening and also a very good topic for another day……

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Everyday

Turn turn turn

Fall, the autumn equinox.  The changing of the seasons.  I’ve had some major changes occur as I have watched a year of seasons go by. Sometimes change can be difficult to deal with.  Sometimes it can be a time to rejoice, but it is inevitable and no matter what we have to remember to keep moving forward.

Last winter marked a time of loss and of letting go for me.  I lost, what I thought was, my “dream job” and it was very devastating.  It made winter feel very sad, quiet, and depressing at times.  I mean what was I going to do now?  I had planned on making some changes in my life at the beginning of the year, but that was all under my own control.  With this happening the way it did, I felt a complete lack of control which became very hard to deal with.  This change, this ending of a season of my life, filled me with feelings of uncertainty, anger, fear, grief, and sadness.  It was hard for me to see any of the good that would come from it.

For the first time in my marriage I really had to let my husband take the wheel and be our sole provider.  We were not destitute by any means but I felt a little less value in myself because I was not giving back to our family.  He reassured me over and over that it would be fine and that all he wanted from me was to take some much-needed time off and to do the things that I loved.  That was hard at first.  I mean the things that I loved were not going to pay our bills or put food in our mouths.  I was very out of my comfort zone.  Plus there were days that I had a very hard time getting over the anger and sadness inside of me.

Winter changed to spring and spring brought a glimmer of new beginnings as I started to rediscover myself.  I have always enjoyed writing and recently had discovered a pull towards photography as well.  I have had this blog on and off for years but never really had the time to commit myself to it.  So I dove into writing almost immediately. I made sure to write almost every day.  I joined a “No Spend” challenge and had shared my progress, which helped to hold me accountable for writing something everyday.  I also found myself writing about my feelings and my running and my choice to be vegan.

When I opened myself up to the universe in this way, the universe gave back.  I had followers!  Actual people who wanted to read my blog.  I was putting something out there that in whatever way, shape, or form someone else found a use for.  That was very awesome feeling.  I also had all the time that I needed to sign up for and take 4 different photography sessions.  I learned the basics, the not so basics and about Abode Photoshop and Lightroom.  I love learning and I loved being creative.  I also loved connecting to a hobby that my father had the same interest in.  It felt like it was natural for me to have a connection to a camera because its presence was always there as I was growing up. Creativity was always a part of my life when I was younger as well.  Over the years I had forgotten that.  Life always had away of showing up and pushing creativity farther and farther away.  And when you start to disconnect from something like that, I think  you start to disconnect from your true self.

Summer came in shortly after and everything was just starting to get heated up.  I was starting to realize that what happened in the past was just that; the past.  I had started to learn to let go and really take in everything that I loved.  I went to the gym more.  I read more books then I had read in a long time.  I had forgotten the joy in that.  I had even found myself the perfect part time job within walking distance of my house.  I made greater connections with my friends and family.  And I shared a lot of it right here on my blog.  I really started to understand the force in allowing yourself to be yourself and not worry about what anyone else thought of you or your life style.  I am blessed to have a wonderful home, a husband and parents who love me for me, two fur babies that have been through everything the last 13 years has thrown at me, great friends, good health, a great new job and so much more to look forward to.

Winter changed to spring, spring into summer and now here I am, almost a full year later; entering into my favorite season of them all.  Fall.  For me fall is my time of rebirth.  I know that seems backwards but I have always lived in a hot climate so when the cooler nights and milder days start to roll in I feel sheer bliss.  It means the start of running season.  Pumpkins and fall festivals.  Hoodies and hot tea.  Everything that makes me feel warm and toasty and loved.

It also means that I have come full circle from last winter.  It’s amazing how true the statement “a year from now, this will seem like nothing” is.  When you are suffering within a hard time, it can feel like you are drowning.  Like nothing will ever be the same and the sadness will consume you.  But time literally does heal all wounds.  From time to time I still find myself annoyed with the past but not like I used to be.  I literally used to have bad dreams and ill thoughts that could spin me into a sad, dark, place.  I would let my anger consume me to the point of exhausting tears.  But I have come to terms with those circumstances.  The door that slammed shut allowed me to see down the hallway of new possibilities.  I no longer focus my energy on that closed door.  Instead I walk from (new open) door to door and allow myself to feel free.

 

 

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