I have a cute statement I make on occasion when I am working with a client. I say if I were to give you a prescription for going crazy, I would tell you to try to control other people and try to control the future. Now I am quite certain that I borrowed this phrase from someone else, so please comment or email me if you can direct me to a site online with this phrase, so I can link to it. Until then…let that prescription sink in. If you want to drive yourself crazy, start trying to control other people and start trying to control the future. And really, just trying to control one or the other will really get you far enough into crazy mode. Now, let’s use this information to our advantage and work it backwards!
What are you worried about? What occupies time in your head and creates stress for you? See if you can fit it into one of two categories: TRYING TO CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE or TRYING TO CONTROL THE FUTURE. I estimate that the majority of what we worry about falls into these two categories. And yet….we have no control of either of these two things.
We really have no business trying to control other people. We have our own “side of the street” to take care of! Whoever it is we are trying to control, that is not any of our business. It is up to them to take care of themselves, on their own time. Sure, we care about people. Sure, actions and non-actions of people in our lives can impact and affect us. But when it is all said and done, we do NOT control other people, nor is it our business to.
And the future? We have no control over the future. If you have any worries that fall into the trying to control the future category, how far into the future are you concerning yourself? And how quickly are we blowing that concern into a huge catastrophe? Come back to today and see what needs to be taken care of today. Breathe! So much of what we are afraid will happen in the future never happens. Come back to today. What can you do today? What can you be grateful for today? Are you okay today? Keep in mind that we can hope and dream for the future. We can plan for the future. But, we truly have no control over the future.
Letting go of control….of other people and of the future….can be a process. It doesn’t always happen right away, but awareness is a huge part of the process. Making a list and dividing between the two categories can help this awareness.
Now, remember the prescription for crazy…a surefire way to drive yourself crazy is to try to control other people and try to control the future. Use that little piece of information to your advantage and begin the process of working backward, letting go of the attempt to control what you simply cannot control. See what kind of peace you can find through this process.
*note: I am not a medical doctor and truly cannot give out prescriptions for medication….the use of the word prescription is for informative and entertainment purposes.
Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT says
Love this idea! I will definately put that one in my toolbox for work with my couples as well as individuals. When do you find yourself using this the most in your work?
Jamie English, LCSW says
Usually when folks seem overwhelmed with problems and I notice that the majority of the issue has to do with trying to control other people. Thanks for stopping by….I’m off to check out your blog!!