October 13, 2013 at 9:05 am #43688
So over the last several weeks, I’ve noticed some very disturbing things about myself. Things I’ve been doing and how I’ve been interacting with other people. I’ve realized that I have a tendency to controlling and manipulative, and too a point, obsessive, over people and how they don’t measure up to my expectations of them. Everyday I can’t stop thinking about how things are not going the way I want them to and it’s tearing me apart from the inside. How do I overcome these feelings?October 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm #43726
I’m empathetic to those kinds of struggles, where we judge the external and internal as not good enough, and try to control the environment and people around us. A few things came to heart as a read your words.
When we’re feeling crappy inside, we can become selfish very naturally. Other people’s actions become grating, annoying. Its common to try to force them to act differently from this place, as though if we could only make them behave a certain way, our world would become safer, more beautiful, more spacious, and we could find inner peace. This is problematic of course… even when we see others making decisions that lead to painful effects and we’re trying to jump in and save the day, uninvited help is often rebuked.
Consider that the emotions and thoughts are impermanent… they arise and fade as we move through time. This is true of others’ suffering. They make decisions that lead to success and failure, and they learn. This learning process is like the petals of a flower unfolding… they take time and sun and rain to open. If we get in there and dig our teeth in, then the bud doesn’t open and our own mind suffers for encroaching.
From another direction, if you’re trying to control others because you’re interested in seeing them behave in a way that is pleasing toward you, such as convincing your siblings to do your chores for you, then you’re just being lazy. 🙂 Inner peace is a journey we have to put effort into, and it doesn’t stabily arise any other way. Said differently, we can create the conditions of inner peace and energy independent of specific results, moving from conditional happiness to unconditioned happiness. Meditation practices, metta practices, or any self-nurturing activities help us regain that power and beauty. If the desire to control others is a consistent problem for you, consider reading Pia Mellody’s book on codependence. She has a lot of great practical advice on letting go of control, understanding boundaries, and how to recover from a deep entrenchment of manipulating others.
Finally, try to relax! Inside you there is a child-like spirit that loves to play. Remember how simple life was (and becomes again) when we used our imagination and playfulness to dance and sing. We could play with dolls or cars for hours and be content. That is still inside us, its just under layers of spinning thoughts. Namaste.
MattOctober 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm #43730
Thanks Matt, I’ll have to check that out. I think one of my sources for the need to control people comes from my need to be validated by others, I really wish I could find peace within myself without using others, but I just can’t seem to.October 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm #44119
I love what you said Matt, beautifully put:) I find myself thinking I know best for others a lot and then I play out whole scenes in my on what exactly I would say. This waste so much time and I have recently learned to be “carefree”. This my new word as I become so serious, when I feel the weight of others coming down on me I just say I am carefree to myself and it redirects my thoughts.
Thanks so much both of you for sharing Iove learning from others:)