In my second marriage, I was blessed to be married to a recovering alcoholic. As a result, I realized I am attracted to people who drink too much (I went 2 for 2 marriages; odds are I will make it 3). So I traipsed off to Al Anon while my ex went to AA meetings. And I learned a lot there!! I discovered that I have very little control over my life, much less than I would prefer. My ex-husband, children, friends and parents rarely do what I think is best (shocking, eh?).
I really love control though. And as you know, I am a slow learner. I like it when my son signs up for classes I think he should, I like it when my daughter eats and dresses like I suggest. I love it when my parents react the way I want them to when I tell them stories.
But what a boring, unpassionate endeavor, to do something because someone else thinks it is best- to think and react only to get approval. I want my kids to find their own passions, to find their own sports, and food and loves (legal, of course). And BTW, he hated the class I suggested he take, so it was a waste of energy.
What would it feel like for us to let go of the reins of control a bit? To stop “driving the bus”, which sometimes equals “dragging the elephant” to get our families to do what we want them to do? What if I take a deep breath and watch instead of intervening next time my parents instigate another political discussion?
Al Anon literature says “we are powerless” over others and their decisions, especially in regards to alcohol. But what else can we let go? What else can we decide to accept and allow in order to let more inner peace into our lives? Al Anon says we can only control our own behavior… (e.g. shut the door to the messy bedroom rather than taking on that argument)
Action Item: Write down 5-10 items that “I have no control over”.
Visualize: Drop those items that you acknowledge you have no control over. My favorite ways are to take a walk, and let them float off into the sky drop down in the lake, or jump into the wind and follow the winds up to heaven.