Codependents want control. Of everything. And everyone. Which seems backwards somehow, because we feel controlled. By everything. And everyone. It isn’t really backwards at all though. Desiring control comes from fighting a life-long system of others trying to control us, and eventually we fight back. We grow up in or marry in to family systems where we learn we must fight for the right to make our own decisions and choices because in those systems, NO ONE lets go of control. Everyone in the system has an opinion, which they feel they MUST express and which everyone MUST agree with and follow. And if anyone disagrees, they feel irritation and anger, which means they MUST debate the reasons that they’re opinion is RIGHT and yours is WRONG. The “winner” feels justified and self-righteous, and the loser “feels” resentful and controlled. We’ll do anything, say anything, respond in any way possible that will make others the loser, just so we don’t have to be. And the kicker is we get SO angry at everyone else for participating in this system, while we’re doing it too!

But we participate because we believe the answer to this problem is to take back control of our own lives by exerting control over everyone else. We feel it’s the only answer. If we show we’re right we somehow think everyone else will stop. And we don’t even realize how dysfunctional the system is, we just accept it. So, we get angry, yell, cry, pout, ignore, to fight the controllers in our lives. Once everyone gets with the program, we know we’ll feel better, happier. The problem is everyone one else is doing the same thing, so we never feel better or happier. It’s a tug-of-war that NEVER, EVER ends! The insanity cycle at its finest!

Unless. We. End it. I let go of my end of the rope and the system topples. It doesn’t matter if everyone else picks up the slack and continues to tug. I don’t have to be a part of it any longer. Those in the system will try to get me back. They’ll try to force the rope back in my hands by trying to tell me how and what I need to do, the best way, the best route, the best blah, blah, blah, and they just don’t want to give up. They’ll get angry, yell, cry, pout, ignore. But I don’t have to go back. I can choose to disengage. They’ll continue the fight, someone else will pick up the other end of the rope, but I don’t have to. I can’t blame ANYONE in the system if I choose to stay in it. It’s not their fault, it’s MY CHOICE. Sometimes I have to walk away and keep them at arms length, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have to end a relationship and sometimes I don’t. But I have to be the one to figure out what I must do in order to disengage from the tug-of-war. As tempted as I may be to change and control others to have control over my own choices and decisions, that will never be the answer, because then I simply do to them what I don’t want them to do to me; I try to take away their control over their own choices and decisions.

End it. I decide. I only control me. I let go of control of others. I have peace.


2 thoughts on “Control

  1. Excellent. I wished I had known this 26 years ago. I let go of the rope. I had to because the leash was getting tighter and tighter as he attempted to control and manipulate each and every aspect of my life. If I let him control the way we sharpened pencils then he would pull tighter and want to control what kind of pencils I bought. This is a true occurence. Then he moved on to another area maybe how I stored the cat food on and on until 2 months ago I walked away. I had to leave my two children because if I left with them he would never let us have any peace . I lost my home I don’t have a penny but I have my sanity so there is always Hope.

    • Emily, I am very sorry to hear about this. I have thought of you and wondered how you were doing since not seeing you around. I will be praying for you as you seek peace. Yes, as long as we are alive, there is hope. Taking each step forward as God slowly but surely transforms us.

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