Searching for self-control

February 27, 2019

In my life I have had points where I am really in control (almost too much) and when I thought that absolutely everything was getting away from me. It's always one extreme or the other. I am beginning to understand that I can’t plan and control my life. It is not possible. What I can do, however, is control my reactions and the way I approach a situation.


I have had a fairly emotional two weeks. I found myself stressing out about my life, where I am going, what is happening with the people around me and my purpose. My dad had seen an emotional episode and followed it up with this quote:


“Self-control is strength. Calmness is mastery. You have to get to a point where your mood doesn’t shift based on the insignificant actions of someone else. Don’t allow others to control the direction of your life. Don’t allow your emotions to overpower your intelligence.” – Morgan Freeman


The quote really resonated with me. I read it a few times over to really understand what it was saying.


I am often told that I have great "self-control" because I don’t find myself overindulging at the dessert bar or don’t reach for the bowl of hot chips in the middle of the table. Sure that is “self-control” on some level but it is not the self-control I feel I need to master.


I often wish that I was a “go with the flow” kind of person. One that wasn’t particularly phased about what is going on. But I am not that person. I can actually be such a control freak. I like certain things the way I like them and if they don’t work out that way I struggle to deal with it.


It is one thing to like things a certain way. It is another to communicate passively to others that you’re not happy things aren’t going that way. Unfortunately for the people I live with, it is fairly obvious when I am in a mood about something. I project that energy onto them. Whether it be by my body language or the sour look on my face. This is the kind of “self-control” I am seeking. The ability to look at a situation I am not happy with, have a moment of disappointment, and not let it ruin my day and the days of those around me.


I know that I am the way I am so I tend to try and isolate myself in those situations. Now I don’t live in isolation so it is fair to say that someone can detect my mood if I’m in the kitchen. I have always told them “don’t poke the bear and you will be fine.” But it shouldn’t have to be like that. My mood shouldn’t impact so strongly onto others that they can’t enjoy their day.


Learning to listen and understand my emotions is definitely not going to be easy. I find that as I am getting older I am feeling things so much deeper than I ever have before. In the last year I think I have cried more than I have in my whole life. Be it at a wedding, a good movie, a sad family time and even just purely out of care and concern for another person. I used to think that crying was a sign that I was losing control. But now I actually think the opposite. It is the purest reaction to a strong emotion and feeling that emotion and sitting with it means understanding ourselves and what something means to us.


I think that by bottling in less emotions and actually expressing in words the way I feel about a situation the more likely I am to be in “self-control.” Other people aren’t in control of our lives, we are. We can choose the way we feel and react. Strong emotions like frustration and anger can be overpowering and take away from what we want to achieve. We are smarter than we think and stronger than we believe.


Know your worth and let it shine, a person with determination and a dream will get there in the end no matter what obstacles are thrown at them. The more time I take to understand why I feel the way I do about certain things the more I will be able to manage the way I deal with my feelings. I wont let my darker emotions take away from my knowledge of what is best. Frustration doesn't solve anything, it makes things look worse than what they are. 


It is our responsibility to know what we want and that we are worthy of having it. No one else can do that for us. My parents have always told me this but it isn’t until now that I am starting to believe it. Everything will work out, we need to be patient, work hard and have faith. Most importantly, we can’t let others take away our spark and we can't take away theirs.




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