Got Control?

I have been struggling with the fact that I may be a “control freak”. I just started watching Modern Family this year. If you have ever watched the show, you will know that Claire’s character represents someone who is always taking control. Not only has my family pointed out that I could be Claire, I have actually done some of the things she does on the show. I find myself justifying that she is “worse than me.” Is there solace in being, “not that bad”?

Now that the mirror has been placed squarely in my face in the form of Claire Dunphy, what can I learn? Yes, there is probably some reason that stems back to my childhood for my adopting this behavior. It is a survival technique that works sometimes. But, perhaps the lesson is in figuring out where it doesn’t serve me and or those around me.

In taking a closer look, I have to admit that many times this behavior has caused me undue angst and suffering and can also result in complaining. In addition, in many cases, taking control didn’t actually solve the long-term problem, only provided a short-term fix. I am learning that I don’t need to fix (control) everything and, in fact, can’t fix (control) everything. I am finding out that if the situation is something I can change then I need to find the courage to involve others in arriving at a solution and sometimes that involves engaging in “difficult” conversations (gulp). I have also learned to accept when I can’t change or affect the situation and, under those circumstances, turn it over to God. Philippians 4:8-9 states “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

All this time I have been using control as a way to achieve peace, and the real road to peace was actually in relinquishing control and turning it over to God. There truly is so much peace in this. I am still a recovering “control freak”, but am making progress and enjoying the peace that comes from surrendering control to the one who really is in control. As therapy, I continue to watch Modern Family and if I am still resembling some of Claire’s behaviors, then it gives me something to work on.

I close with these meaningful lyrics from the song What a Friend We Have in Jesus:

“Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.”


Kelley Evans

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