Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: When I Stop Trying to Control the World, it actually works better

Control and letting go. Two of my biggest issues. I know where the need to control stems from. As a child, I didn't feel safe. I didn't have a solid foundation of love and support in my family of origin. My parents fought a lot, so I developed a need to try to make it all okay in order to feel safe. As an adult, I still want to feel safe and if anxiety sets in, my control issues flare up big time and I try to fix everything around me.

The more awareness I have about this, the more I can stop and let go. And the more I do that, the better things work. I've taken to asking myself: Is this mine? my feeling? my responsibility? my issue? It helps a lot, rather than just take on everything occurring around me. It's a huge relief to know I am only responsible for my own behavior. I can't fix or change anyone else. Whew!

How about you? Are you controlling or are you able to let go?


Manzanita said...

If I'm controlling these days, it's my own little corner of the world that I try to control. Plus it's no longer control but it is now responsibility.

Karen Walker said...

I like that,Manzanita!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I have gotten much less controlling as I get older and am able to let go of things relatively easy now. Makes for a much healthier life.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can control me and the safety of my family and that's about it.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Interesting. I came from a dysfunctional family, too, but rather than making me try to control the situation, the circumstances made me feel more helpless, as though I had absolutely no control over my own life, let alone anyone else's. Bad things would happen, and I'd blame myself for not being able to make things better... while feeling utterly helpless to do so. Being an adult is much better. I don't know that I feel especially in control, but I do take responsibility for my own actions... but NOT for anyone else's.

L.G. Smith said...

There is freedom in letting go of that need to control, isn't there? I do think we mellow as we get older. Or maybe we just give up because we finally realize it doesn't work.

Karen Walker said...

Optimistic, it sure does - good for you!
Alex, that is the truth!
Susan, interesting how different folks react differently to similar situations, isn't it?
L.G. yes, the feeling of freedom is enormous when I truly relax and let go.


With the family issues I have I have actually come to the conclusion, you CAN'T make someone like or indeed love you.

Robin said...

I'm learning through therapy that almost all of our issues that we have as adults are things that we are trying to resolve from our childhood. Life seems to be this never-ending classroom and the root of the lessons all date back to "the start."

It is good that you can step back and give yourself Breathing Space BEFORE you act. Often I find myself knee-deep in my issues before I realize that I have "gone there" again. Good for you!!!

subtlekate said...

Yes, I relate to what you've said here. I didn't feel safe and so I have to know what is ahead every step of the way. If I can't see it, I can't do it. I am trying to overcome that.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. you're so right .. we can only look to ourselves and make sure we do the right thing at the right time - makes life easier all round ... go with the flow to a point ..

Good luck and I love that you are realising your senses which can translate into your writing .. good for you - letting go is tricky to put it mildly ..

Happy week .. Hilary

Karen Walker said...

Robin, it is wonderful that you are working on this. My hunch is I'm quite a bit older than you, so good for you!
subtlekate, I've learned if I bring an issue into awareness, it immediately starts to be better. Good luck!
Hilary, yes, tricky is a good word. thanks!

Liz Fichera said...

I try to only focus on that which I can control, which usually is myself. Easier said than done, yes. :)

Arlee Bird said...

I like having some control because I like having these my way, but I tend to be fairly compliant and adaptable as well. I'll take full control if that's what is expected of me, but I'll let go when that seems the best way to keep the peace.

Tossing It Out

Pk Hrezo said...

This wisdom becomes more apparent the older I get. I decided awhile back that the secret to life is knowing how to let go. On so many different levels.
Love your post title!

Pk Hrezo said...

This wisdom becomes more apparent the older I get. I decided awhile back that the secret to life is knowing how to let go. On so many different levels.
Love your post title!

Tonja said...

Controlling. I'm not sure that's always a bad thing though. I'm really good at getting stuff done (except my WIPs).

Ann Carbine Best said...

Hugs, prayers, and loving thoughts to you too, Karen. Jen says from her, too. It's true that we can only do so much. Control implies using wisdom, and that is what we need, especially as we get older. I think I have your email address. I will see if it is here on your blog. Mine is bestann07 at gmail dot com. With much love, dear friend and fellow memoir writer. I don't think I can ever forget you unless my brain dies :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I have to add though that I know it's not always as east as it sounds and I defniitely have setbacks lol. Have a happy weekend my friend.