It puts the lotion in the basket…
Trying to control our surroundings can bring us to the brink and beyond. I used to figure that my mildly OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) nature was hereditary, my whole family suffers (each other) from it. Or rather, we used to suffer, that is. Now we’ve embraced our quirky control issues and can laugh at ourselves. And each other.
What’s the big deal?
Well, according to biology, when we feel out of control our bodies release the same hormones as when we are stressed, and those hormones cause aging. I’m not even talking about crinkly eye creases from laughter (which most control-freaks lack, anyway) but the nasty stuff like deteriorating joints, arthritis and illness. Blech!
Mental stress is manifested by our perceptions (the way I see it) and lack of ability to deal with uncertainty—but what if…?).
So how well do we fair?
I found this Questionnaire in Deepak Chopra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind:
Mark a big Yes, that’s me! by any of the following that are “frequent, often, always’.”
- I’m happier working solo, but if I must work with a group, I like to be in control.
- Under pressure, my first response is irritation and being a crankybearasauras.
- I can do it on my own. I don’t need other’s help.
- Hold a grudge? Who doesn’t! (But they’ll never know.)
- My siblings can’t relate to me. Yeah, it kind of bugs me.
- The more expensive the gift I give, the more you mean to me.
- I’d rather not talk about what a cad someone is to me.
- Looking back I wish I hadn’t bought him all that stuff now that we’re split up.
- My house, my rules!
- “I’m wrong? Sorry?” You’ll never here those words out of me.
- I’d rather wallow in solitude than show weakness.
- Talking is the new listening. Yeah, sometimes I hog the convo.
- But #12 is because I have a lot of meaningful things to say!
- People ought to take my opinions more seriously.
- I know what’s good for you.
- I might have opened someone’s mail once, but there was a good reason for it. Not.
- I don’t know why some people say I’m negative.
- People mistake my lofty standards as criticism.
- Perfect but good enough. Ha! Trick question! Good enough is never good enough!
- Emotional closeness? No, thanks. Let’s just keep a safe, tidy distance shall we.
- In my past relationships I’ve mostly been right.
- Everything has a place, everything in its place – no sloppy Sams TYVM.
- Schedules, lists, organization, and punctuality are important to me.
- When I care for someone, I’m frustrated when they don’t return the favour.
- The way I do things makes perfect sense to me. Deal with it.
- Don’t like me? Couldn’t care less.
- I think people usually have a hidden agenda.
- Keep your high energy, high volume kids away, please and thanks.
- My parents are to blame for a lot of my problems, but why should I tell them?
- Of course I bring up old hurts when I’m in an argument, it helps prove my point.
A score between 0-10:
We are comfy in our own skin and accepting of others because we know we are all perfectly flawed. We roll with the punches and keep our footing. We value spontaneous actions and emotional expression.
A score between 11-20:
Being in control is important. We have fears and old baggage we are working on. We don’t need to lead the pack but let’s do it our way. We’ve got our pens in a row but if one goes missing, no biggy. We have people we can open up to, but some restrictions apply!
A score between 21-30:
Control freak! People are constantly offending or hurting us, which has happened since childhood. We remember. We keep a lid on our emotions (except anger and crankiness) and there’s no big reveal to hardly anyone. Needing our way all the time pushes others away, even though we’re trying to help them. Explaining why we are the way we are doesn’t convince anyone to like us, which is what we actually really want.
How’d you do? Are there areas that would serve everyone better and benefit by change?
Thought processes, judgements, interpretations—all mental fixations we actually do have some manner of control over. Yet, day in and day out, we choose stress thoughts over mindfulness.
So if we find ourselves re-re-rearranging our spice cupboard just one more time, perhaps that’s a clue that it’s time to get a grip by letting go. (Um, sideways glance.)
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: YouTube still