In Lack of Control & The Miracles that Followed

One primary persona of mine is to walk with confidence and appear to be “calm and under control;” the emotions pour out later. In this “mode,” I can hear my father’s mantra to be “calm, cool and collected” reverberating in my cranium. Recently, that persona broke wide the eff open for me. While it’s been an ongoing process of chipping away at this persona, on this particular day I had a very significant breakthrough.

My son was having an escalating series of temper tantrums. My attempt to control the situation and de-escalate it was only causing further … escalation. Based on a recent read of the book, Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford, I saw where my need to seem in control was a direct result of my feeling that I lacked control. Literally, a light went off in one of the deepest (and darkest?) recesses of my mind. Once I affirmed that I was, indeed, not in control, I surrendered to my higher power and asked for guidance. I spoke to this event in the post Learning to be Secure.

The M.O. from the Past

In trying to prove to myself and to the world that Tiffany had it under control, I hid where I was not under control. Or tried to. I have had an emotional eating addiction for … probably my whole life. This is one of the ways that I both punish myself for my feelings (eating ’til it hurts) and then hide my feelings by stuffing my emotions down, down, down…

In trying to prove to the world that I had it under control, I learned to smile and put on a good game face; well kinda. One practitioner poignantly described me as being “zippered up.” Yet the muscles of my body reveal my guarded and “under control” tendency. Even with regular massages, I have held onto a great deal of tension; more than most.

In trying to prove to the world that I had it under control, I would attempt to control myself, my environment and … even those in it. Wow! That last one is a challenge to admit. Yet, as a physical therapist I develop (and control) treatment plans everyday. What a great profession to be in for someone who secretly wants to control everything and everyone… understand, I believed it was an act of self-preservation, not mind-control.

Where & why the control most likely started

This control is not so much about power for the sake of power, it’s more about my feeling safe. As a child, I was in situations where I was abused by “trusting” adults who manipulated and controlled me. From this, I believed that my body was not safe, that I had to control others – and myself – to be safe. From this abuse, I also didn’t believe I could trust people; especially those who were meant to protect me. Further more, I felt effing powerless, and hence the cycle starts over, feeding into itself. So for me, being in control has meant that it was harder for someone else to harm me.

Back to the Breakthrough

Yet on this fateful day, I chose differently. In recognizing my lack of control and giving up control to my higher power, I received greater clarity in everyday things. This has helped me to make wiser choices. The irony! Instead of being ruled by my fear of loss of control, I’m seeing that I have little control outside of my own choices, and now my choices are more clear, thus giving me …. more control! Yet in a different way, in that the control factor is no longer based in fear.

It is my hope that in sharing, you will find a greater understanding about yourself or perhaps a “control freak” that is in your life. The more we can understand and have compassion, the less turbulence we each create in our world.

May we each find a greater sense of peace in better understanding ourselves and others. 

Namaste

Choosing Happiness while Ditching the Facade

Mom, Physical Therapist, Healer, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Woman, Ex-Wife, Ex-Girlfriend, Employee, Student, Blogger, Breather, Investor, Borrower, Tenant, Driver, Consumer, etc, etc, etc.

We can have so many roles that at times we lose site of who we truly are. Each of us can have multiple labels that come with different and sometimes complicated and conflicting expectations. Sometimes these roles come to define our identity and then we lose ourselves in living up to unrealistic expectations. Why do we do this? To meet the expectations of others, living and not, and some of these expectations are often only in our minds.

In allowing these identities to define us, we lose personal freedom while we gain a false-sense of security. We then find ourselves needing to defend this false sense of self, less someone begins to see the cracks in the walls or the foundation. Separation from others deepens as we lose ourselves to the facade – to the mask – of who we want the world to see. We become trapped in our own self-created prisons; the place we created to protect ourselves now keeps us from true experiences.

In this place we avoid following our hearts’ desires and instead we find ourselves stuck on the paths we believe we’re supposed to follow. How does this serve us? We believe that by following the preset path that we will be more safe, that our survival will be more properly preserved. Yet on the inside we’re dying from misery of living below our unique abilities.

Each of us is here for a unique purpose. When we cage ourselves, we are much like the lion in the zoo whose pride (literally and figuratively) is taken away. He is unable to follow his instincts and roam as he may. Instead he treads the same paths, dreaming of running across open savanna’s. (what is your heart’s dream?) Unlike the caged lion, we can choose differently. We can choose to break free of the false identities, the roles in which we play.

So when will you choose happiness, breaking free of the false-identities? When will you choose to follow the whispering of your heart, your soul unleashed?

What I’m talking about here is happiness without condition. What happens in our lives can shape us or break us. Even the heartaches and struggles are here so that we can choose our values, our path, our perspectives. Strength is built by doing and by choosing to “level up” and be our greatest selves. When we place conditions on our love, on our happiness, both cease to exist.

Namaste

If not now, then when? When will you listen to the whisperings of a soul ready to be unleashed?

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