Monday, March 18, 2013

What I can control. What I can't let control me.

I'm really digging this concept right now.  Anything that saves my tiny shred of sanity is good, not?  I feel pretty crazy most of the time but I'd like to be able to function in this world.

I'm breaking down situations into two categories, even though I realized life doesn't always fall so neatly, but I think this works.

1) Can I control this?

2) Am I going to let this control me?

And before you go thinking I'm some classic control freak, let me say that I often feel like everything in my world is not only of my control of but outtacontrol in general and also holy jumpin' man, aren't we all to some extreme or another?

Let's try this out.


Can I control this?


Am I going to let it control me?

Not really.  Maybe my riders won't ride today but we can learn other stuff inside the barn.



Well yes technically.  I can't always control what put me in a bad mood but I can decide how I'm going to react to it.

That's how I know whether or not it will control me.

I'm still working on this.

Any thoughts? How do you tell the difference between what you can control and what you don't want to let control you?


Cindy D. said...

I can't tell you how hard I try to teach this to my kids.

Rocky Mountain Yankee said...

I am struggling with this myself, especially the crap mood part of things.

Heidi the Hick said...

Ah well we're all learning aren't we?

One thing I've been learning - yay for years of therapy! - is that we can control how we choose to think. It ain't easy. But it's starting to work.

jay said...

My big realization was that we can choose reactions to emotions. I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose how I process and react to that feeling.

Paul Tee said...

A hell of a significant puzzle. I'm and certainly have been dealing with the question of control.

The fact is, shit is going to happen, it's unavoidable and that you can't control, how you react to it, you can... if you are willing. In my own experience it depends on how I frame the situation. If you are looking for losses, you will find them... but equally, if you are looking for gains in a given situation, you will find those too. It's a matter of a conscious decision.

In a passive mode, one tends to become a victim of the negatives, it takes a dynamic approach to extract the positives. It takes decision, dedication and work. Or so I have found. I'm kicking myself that it took me so long to arrive at this realization and incorporate it into my scheme of things. I know that it sounds simplistic, the bottle half empty or full, but it is profound once you have seen and tasted it.

It took me years to learn to protect myself, seek out anything to give me comfort and reassurance. The key that works for me, is that I have to protect my thoughts and thought processes. Always, and I can't stress this enough, always be kind to yourself, forgiving, have the attitude that if you failed this time at something, you know that you will do better the next time.

Can't let negatives take root in your mind, for that distorts your perception of people and life around you and leads to defeat. I have experienced that early; my mom, among other things, was depressed a lot of the time, but she taught me not to be. I learned (by reaction) not to take that road. Not that life was always conveniently rosy or amendable, but there is always a choice. You can write your own script. If you have troubles buried in the past? rewrite that history a bit at a time. I don't mean bury you head in the sand, I mean give yourself a break. The situation is not always your fault, so don't own it.

I'm sorry if this sounds preaching. I'm thinking out aloud, helping to define where I stand in relation to the dilemma you chose for us. It is part of an ongoing dialogue I have with myself. And if I had a time machine to go back to warn myself, this would be among the things I would tell myself and save myself some pain. And to buy gold and Apple stocks, of course...

Damn it Heidi! Your blog always incites me to overwrite...! I apologize.

mugwump said...

I made a list once.
What I can change (control),on one side.
What I can't change, on the other.

I kept it folded in my pocket, adapted it as needed, read and reread it. Added and subtracted.

One day I curled my sleepy daughter on my hip, kissed my dogs goodbye and left an abusive marriage behind, with a change of underwear and $5.

I took my illnesses with me, picked up the dogs later and became a horse trainer.

The list? I threw it away, I can always write another.

Heidi the Hick said...

You are all brilliant.

I'm so glad we are having this little talk!!

Anonymous said...

Isn't that why we have horses? To learn that we really don't control everything, but if we work at getting along we can beat the crap mood?

I'm old, and getting older, I've learned that the only thing I have any control over is clutter and cleaning and what I eat. This time of year is the worst for me, crappy crappy weather when I'm just dying to saddle up and ride and put in a garden. I may lose the crap mood battle today.

Heidi the Hick said...

I lose the battle too, just a little less often than I used to.

LIKE YESTERDAY. I filled the wheelbarrow with two stall's worth of poops and wet shavings. I pushed it out the barn door and OOF no further. The axle popped out of its housing and the wheel was on an angle. Stuck. Not going anywhere let alone 60 ft across the corral to the pile. I dragged it back in, propped it against the barn wall and stared at it for a few minutes. IT'S STILL THERE 24 HOURS LATER. Gah. Everything's frozen in there now. So bummed out. I allowed myself to just be totally irritated and sad and then I chose to go to book club and ask my son to do chores for me.

So now I have to decide how I'm going to react to the gimpy lame broken s**t cart. I WILL NOT LET THIS CONTROL ME!

...well, other than the barnyard filling with nastiness... until I fix it or get a new one...!

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

"The only thing you can actually control is your attitude."

That, a parenting mantra from a dear friend, has gotten me through when all else fails.

Laura Crum said...

Choices are important. That's my mantra. Sometimes the most important choice is the ability to say no. I love my life here on my little property, and if I am left sufficiently in peace to enjoy it I am almost always pretty happy. Of course, I have responsibilities which I must honor. But I have learned to say no to stuff I don't really want/need to do (and no one in my family wants/needs me to do) and I am so much happier. And I removed several toxic people from my life, or put them at a distance--one removed herself for me--and that helped, too.

Paul Tee said...

I don't know about you but I would like to saddle Anonymous and rake him with the spurs.

And I don't even ride.

It's OK, I will soon have myself under control.

Heidi the Hick said...

Yeah I'm rather irritated... Can't control spammers and I'd like to choose to react by deleting everything they leave here.