“When you choose to give up roller coasters, you MUST give up habitual ways of thinking and behaving. If not, you might as well stay on the coaster.”

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Okay, I’m willing to try anything to feel better, I thought to myself. “What will I have to give up first?” I meekly asked.

“You MUST give up the need to control anyone and anything.”

“Why?”

“Trying to Control Anyone or Anything Leads to Unhappiness”

“Yikes…who knew?”

“My name is Rebecca L. Norrington and I’m a recovering Controloholic!”

Admittedly, I’ve spent decades determined to control everything and everybody that crossed my path. Controlling external events is like trying to control a tsunami…Mission Impossible! Further, why did I have the need to control anything and everyone outside of me? The answer was simple: I didn’t know I had other options. I didn’t know I could choose another type of behavior. I was only mirroring what I’d witnessed as a child. I actually thought that if I loved someone, it was my responsibility to tell him or her what to do. My mother and father always told me what to do and what to think. I was ignorantly keeping that behavior alive! More importantly, I had no clue that attempting to control anyone or anything other than myself would subtract from my happiness. I was constantly shooting myself in the foot. Besides, knew what was right. I especially knew what was right for everybody else. Yes, I spent a lot of time thinking and voicing my strong opinion about what others should do. “Listen to me; I know what’s best for you! Listen to meee!”

It’s funny, though, because with all of the controlling skills I’d mastered, I was miserable. For an example, when my “orders” weren’t followed and my suggestions were ignored, my “subjects” had major problems. Yes, they all had consequences to pay. The consequences ranged from high-pitched tongue-lashings to total exile. That’ll show them…try living without me!

“Trying to Control Anything or Anyone Leads to Unhappiness”

For me, giving up control didn’t happen overnight. I went out kicking and screaming. In fact, after years of detox I’m still in rehab on an out-patient basis. Admittedly, there are times when I feel a need for a cheap thrill ride; however, it’s not the same. I actually feel uncomfortable wearing my old controlling hat. After years of practice and patience, the old roller coaster has lost its draw and sparkle. What I can say is this—I’ve never been happier!

END ARTICLE

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