Brenda Nicholson

You Can’t Control the World — or Even Your Part of It

I never thought of myself as a controlling person, but it turns out I am.

I like to plan; to know what’s happening in advance. That way I’m prepared. No surprises for me.

Turns out the world doesn’t work that way.

And I can’t control it. Damn.

Maybe you’re like me and don’t realize you’re a bit of a control freak. You want things a certain way; to know what’s going on. Nothing wrong with that.

You need to recognize when things are beyond your control.

One cue for me is when I get obsessed over something.

Last year my husband was laid off and unemployment wasn’t paying him. It was a glitch they eventually fixed.

I started researching budgeting software. That was my response. It wasn’t logical, but it distracted me from the real issue.

I didn’t need software; I needed the error to be fixed.

But I couldn’t control that.

Learn to control what you can.

Stress levels, obsessive thinking, overactive imagination, all the what-ifs. You can get a handle on those things.

Turn them over to a higher power if that helps.

Journal about them. Talk with someone you trust. Sometimes that helps you see the futility of it.

If there’s anything at all that you can do, do it. And then try to distract yourself with something that’s in your power.

And in related news: you can’t save the world, either.

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