Learning to Let Go

If there is one thing that I have struggled with more than others on a day to day basis, it is the need to be in control. For many years I let this have great power over me, so much so, that I was simply not happy if I was not in control and bad things happened when I did not get my way. Not an easy thing to admit, especially when this is still something I struggle with today. But through the grace of God, I am getting better and learning how to relinquish that control one day at a time.

The problem with wanting to be in control is that you inevitably do not let anyone else have any control or help you with whatever it is that you may be doing or going through. I have always had this unhealthy fear that if I did not do something myself, then it would not get done right and something really important would go unnoticed or not get done and everything would be terrible in the end. It is hard to put your trust in others to “do the right thing” in any given situation, but more so in a situation where something is so important to you and you just cannot stand the idea of letting anything bad happen or go wrong.

COPENHAGEN

It sucks for a lot of reasons, living life this way. One is that you hurt others around you in the process. With my need to be in control, I do not allow others to flourish in areas where they might shine had I not held them back. There have been times when I have not given someone the admiration, credit or thanks for their efforts and instead criticized them for what they could have or should have done differently. I have found myself totally dismissing the abilities of others and just bypassing the whole situation altogether and ultimately isolating myself in the process and becoming burnt out because I had to do it all on my own. The worst part about this character trait is when I have refused to let go of control over my life and let God have the wheel, thus bringing myself back to step one and having to cope with the fact that my life has once again has become unmanageable.

I would love to tell you that I no longer do any of those things and that I, in fact, have found the root of what drives me in this way, therefore, freeing me from this flaw altogether. But that would not be true and I would not be able to share with you where I am today in spite of it because I am still working on it and I still have my good days and my bad days and thankfully God is not done with me yet!

Surrender

The good news is through my recovery I have learned that I do have a problem. I have learned what the problem is and what I can do to change it. For me, that is making a conscious decision every day to cast my worries and anxieties on the Lord, to trust that He knows what is best for me and His plan for my life far outweighs anything of my own. That if I wake up each morning and allow God to direct my path then I will have an amazing day and it will be full of surprises and blessings beyond my wildest dreams that I would never get to experience if I continue to hold onto the reigns.

2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 NIV

I will give you no hopes in telling you that in doing these things it will be easy because it won’t. Learning to let go of control over things in my life has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, which is why I still struggle with it so much.  Even when I am not thinking about it, I do it. Even when I do not try to take the reigns, it naturally just happens. But like anything else that is a bad habit, it must be broken through diligently trying to overcome it and I now know that the only way I can do that is through Jesus! I kid you not, if I am having a hard time trying to do something or find myself getting stressed of flustered during the day, I am totally the one to blame and I have to throw my hands up and say “it is yours God, I am stepping away”. Once I do, I usually kick myself for trying to do it on my own, laugh, and then smile because I know that God’s got this! True Story. You should try it 🙂

Stay blessed,

Beautiful Southern Heart


This is part 2 in my ongoing recovery series, for the introduction and Part 1 you can find them here.

Note: If you would like to find out more about faith-based Recovery programs in your area, visit Celebrate Recovery and click on CR Groups. Feel free to email me for more information on where to find a group in your area.

8 thoughts on “Learning to Let Go

  1. I’m sorry, did you write this or did I? 😉 In other words: I can definitely relate! One of the things I’ve learned about my need to control is that it is closely related to the need for security/safety. That need, I believe, is born out of a fear of chaos. Does any of that sound familiar?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, absolutely! Which is all the more reason why it is important to overcome it in your life. God does not want our lives to be full of fear or chaos, we are supposed to find rest and peace in Him and can’t very well do that if we are trying to take control of it!

      Like

  2. “With my need to be in control, I do not allow others to flourish in areas where they might shine had I not held them back. There have been times when I have not given someone the admiration, credit or thanks for their efforts and instead criticized them for what they could have or should have done differently.”

    This part reminds me so strongly of my mother I find it amazing that you can recognise it in yourself. A friend’s mother once asked my mother why she never ever praised us, only ever criticised, and my mother was taken aback but then defensive (“That’s just how I am – if I think they’re not doing something well I have to tell them. I’m not going to praise them for something they haven’t done perfectly”) and left it at that. To this day she’s incapable of praising anything and instead finds failures or tiny flaws in even the greatest achievements. It’s brutal.

    I think you’re amazing for being self-aware enough to acknowledge this about yourself. I think it makes you an incredible mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sadly learned this trait from my mother. She has always been a perfectionist and wants to help you figure out how to do it better. It is something that I held against her as a child and even still do now that I am adult, because you just want to be recognized. But thankfully, I have learned that my self worth doesn’t come from her or anyone else and that has helped me tremendously.

      Learning that I too was doing this to others was a hard pill to swallow, but as you said, it’s been great to be aware of it so I can learn from it and change it! I don’t ever want my kids to feel unworthy or as if their efforts weren’t more than enough!

      Thanks Quinn 🙂

      Like

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