This week

To control or be controlled



Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 



The Wednesday Whisper 



Letting go

When someone has control issues, they work hard to maintain power over nearly every aspect of their life and sometimes over other people’s lives. The fear of disappointment, betrayal, loneliness, failure, humiliation or shame can be so great that excessive planning is exerted over every detail in order to fend off or prevent the fear from becoming a reality.

At the root of needing control is an inability to trust self, others or life. Therefore it becomes a vicious cycle. They control every detail to the point that it is simply impossible for everything to go their way, so they continuously prove it’s impossible to trust anyone, so they control even more.

I once heard from a wedding planner about her most difficult client. She was the Bride’s mother and she wanted an exact measurement of the diameter of the vol-au-vents after baking so she could decide if guests would have to open their mouths too wide to eat them.

As it intensifies, the control spreads into controlling others at home or at work. This can manifest as controlling who they can talk to, where they can go or what they can do until the controlled person gradually concedes so as not to ‘prod the beast’. And so we arrive at ‘coercive control’.

The issue is that it is no fun for the controller. They do not enjoy exerting control. They do not know what else to do. They are addicted. It is very important for the controlled person to break free. Though it won’t seem like it at the time, it is actually a gift to the controller. The controller only became this way because of their own unhealed wounds. Enabling them to continue controlling you is preventing them from the crash needed for them to become vulnerable and seek help.

Letting go of control or letting go of being controlled is tricky. It involves risking spilling the milk. Once the milk is spilled and we see that we are still alive, we can practice trust.

Trust is the ultimate antidote to control.



Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 

The DRM supports participants to let go of control. We start with small, low risk exercises. One pointer I have is, when you find yourself constantly strategising, going round in your mind about how to get things to happen your way, this is a strong alarm bell to let you know you are out of your depth and need support.



The Wednesday Whisper

Do you try to control more than you can actually cope with? Are there people in your life who tell you, you are controlling? Or are you being controlled by someone and secretly hoping it will fix itself? What changes will you make?




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