By Celine Healy
You feel like you’re losing it. It’s like ground-hog day, only worse!
You constantly run out of time to get everything done. You try harder. You try to take responsibility for everything.
But the more you try to control stuff, the more things you see that need to be controlled. So you need to stop being a control freak and have your peace of mind.
You are using up a lot of energy. You feel tired, exhausted, really! You are not eating or sleeping well. You feel overwhelmed with things that need doing.
You worry about every little thing. Every time there a new policies and procedures introduced at work it drives you nuts!
You are becoming more uptight. More anxious. Your compulsion to try to control everything is getting way out of hand. It’s like an addiction.
You are compelled to get things in the right order. You want this maddening habit to end. Most of all you crave peace!
There is a solution for you…
These steps are based on the Alcoholics Anonymous Prayer by Dr Rheinhold Niebuhr. They also embrace the creed of Ho’oponopono by making everything in your life right, changing the habit of “over-control”.
The first line of the AA Prayer states:
God, grant me the serenity to
accept things I cannot change…
AA as an organisation has been around for decades. They’ve had enormous success with this prayer. This creed. It works!
Yes, it is based on alcohol addiction. However, the elements of addiction are the same for all categories: chocolate, work, sex, drugs… and control.
The first step is to relinquish control — to accept that there are things you cannot change. You cannot change others. You cannot change things “out there.” Doing so wastes enormous amounts of energy. It is draining and futile!
It’s about letting go. It’s about being less hard on yourself and others. It is about allowing yourself to be you.
Accepting “what is,” things you cannot change, means loving yourself first. Then others. Acceptance is the hardest part. However, it will bring untold serenity. The peace you crave.
How do you do that?
By retraining yourself to move out of being fearful/controlling, into loving yourself first. One way to do this is by implementing the AA prayer via the Ho’oponopono creed.
Say this line often, to yourself: I love you…
Saying this prayer often allows you to release — to let go. It brings more acceptance of “what is” into your life. It brings serenity.
Having gained more acceptance of “what is” by loving yourself more, and by not trying to change everything around you, you will gain increased awareness to take the next step.
Give me the courage to change the things
I can change…
Once you have accepted that you cannot change everything, the freedom you gain will give you the courage to perceive how the world really works. Change what you can change!
If you now know you can’t change others, or things around you, yet you are still seeing that changes need to be made, it means you need to look inside. The flaws that you see outside are intrinsically those that are mirrored back to you.
Instead of trying to change things or people ‘out there,’ ask: what do I need to change? What part of me is reflected in that issue/person? What do I need to do differently?
For example, if you perceive someone at work being nasty or mean, look inside and ask: Where have I been mean or nasty before?
Then, be courageous enough to do something about this behaviour to rid yourself of it.
How do you do that? By continuing the prayer:
I love you
… by loving yourself first, then by being sorry for all of the hurt you have perpetrated on yourself and others.
You only have control over you and how you live your life. When you recognise this, your life will change enormously.
Accepting “what is” by loving yourself, then, having the courage to look inside and change what’s needed in you, will increase your awareness of how life really works.
The key, now, is to be able to know when to accept things, not trying to change them, and the things that need changing in you. Knowing you only have ultimate control over yourself and how you live life.
… and the Wisdom to know the difference.
Once the traits of acceptance, self-love, and being courageous enough to make the changes within yourself have become embedded in your psyche, become new habits, the wisdom will come.
Wisdom comes from practice. It comes from knowledge. It comes from experience, over time. In this way you will learn to develop good judgment.
Ask: What can I do that would be the best outcome?
You have to step back. You have to decide how you want your life to be. It takes wisdom to be able to articulate the difference between what you can change and what you cannot. It takes courage to take action. The reward: serenity! The peace you crave.
How do you take the third step? By continuing the prayer. Loving yourself. Being sorry for all of the hurt you have perpetrated on yourself and others.
Then, by asking for forgiveness. And finally, by adding Thank you, knowing that the sincerity of your prayer will bring the changes you seek.
I love you I’m sorry Please forgive me Thank you.
Ultimate control means letting go and allowing life to happen!
Trying to control everything around you has driven you nuts! The harder you’ve tried the more overwhelmed and anxious you’ve become.
You’ve craved peace but you did not know what to do.
You have learnt the three steps above. Now it is about taking that first step: of loving yourself and accepting ‘what is’, about yourself, about things, and people and situations as they are. And. Saying that little prayer. This will bring you the peace you crave.
Do just one step first. Then, take the next step… by courageously changing those things within that need to be changed. And finally. Wisdom comes from knowing the difference between what to accept ‘as is’ and ‘what to change’.
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