If you’ve read my previous posts about control (parts One, Two, Three, and Four), you’ll notice my bottom line on the subject: There really isn’t much we have control over. The list is short: Where we place our attention; the behaviors (including the words) that we choose; our intentions.
I used to spend a lot of energy trying to control my partner. I’d criticize what I didn’t like (if not out loud, at least in my head); I’d whine if she wanted to go do something that I didn’t want her to do; I’d wheedle and push if she told me “no” or I didn’t like her answer.
A few years ago, I began to notice how my trying to control her was strangling the life out of our relationship. I was pushing against the flow, trying to force my will upon her, and upon our life together. I remember the day when I finally committed to hearing her “No”–the first time she said it. And then, later, when I stopped trying to get her to do things the way I thought she should do them (things like housework, she spending habits, how she expressed physical affection).
The results were pretty clear: I started feeling more afraid, as things weren’t lining up the way my mind thought they should. But–almost immediately there was more room for both of us to be who we are. And, even better, I could begin to see what I most appreciated about her. Instead of me trying to make her into who I thought she should be, there was room for her to grow even further into her most amazing, true self.
Here is my challenge to you: Are you willing to give up trying to control your partner and give her or him the space to be who s/he really is? You know, the person you fell in love with? If so, here’s what I recommend:
- Notice the ways you currently attempt to control her or him. (Especially notice how you use criticism for control.)
- Make a new commitment. That would sound something like: “I commit to creating space for each of us to live into our real selves” or “I commit to letting go of control, and letting what wants to happen, happen.”
- Keep breathing, and letting yourself feel what you feel, as you open up to the vast energies beyond your attempts at control.
- Notice the new possibilities that open up before you.