Control issues…don’t know if that’s a ‘guy thing’ or an ‘addiction thing’. Both?
I am at my most miserable when people don’t do things the way I want them done. Or, if people around me aren’t acting the way I think they should be. I could have a potentially great evening out watching a movie be ruined if someone nearby looks at their phone during the movie or creates a ruckus unwrapping the food they ‘snuck’ into the theater…God forbid they didn’t follow the rules!!
Then I heard someone talk about acceptance at an AA meeting. Turns out, for me, that’s the answer to my control issues. The more I ‘studied’ acceptance the more sense it made and the easier life got during those times when control would have become an issue.
This is what I learned: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”. I am an alcoholic. I can’t change that. When I accepted that I was powerless over alcohol and my life was unmanageable…the burden was lifted. I wasn’t supposed to be an alcoholic, I fought that and I was miserable. Accepting my alcoholism brought a sense of peace.
“Courage to change the things I can”. This was the key for me. In a control issue situation, I tried to change the other person to conform to be or act the way I thought they should be or act. Acceptance means I need to be the one who changes; not the other person. I can change me and the way I look at others…hell of a lot easier than changing other people. If somebody or some situation is really bothering me, I simply ask myself, “Does it matter? Does it really matter they’re not doing or being the way I think they should?” The answer is always, “No, it really doesn’t”.
“And the wisdom to know the difference”. In a control situation, I either accept things the way they are (I can’t change them anyway) or I change me. Things always work out…life is easier and better for me and those around me.
Two suggestions that have helped me with control issues: Get and read the entire Serenity Prayer (especially near the end,”…accepting the world the way it is, not the way I would have it”) and read “Acceptance Was The Answer” in the AA Big Book, starting on page 407. Page 417 really hit home.
Certainly would like to hear from others on this topic. Tony, hope that helps some…