I think it’s pretty clear to all who know me that I like to be in control. (Maybe that’s why I choose to be in charge of 40+ kids on a daily basis!) However, I have had to come to the understanding that I can’t control EVERYTHING! (Trust me, it’s been hard to accept!) There have been a few situations this week where I’ve found myself as the one giving the advice. And that advice has been, “you can’t control what people do, you can only control what YOU do”. This is something that I REGULARLY have to talk to my 5 year old son about. He wants to be in charge all the time, and has a hard time understanding why that doesn’t work for everyone. (I have NO idea where he gets it. His dad probably…) So we’ve had to talk about how he doesn’t need to worry about why Johnny isn’t doing his work, that Johnny is not his concern, and that he just needs to focus on himself. But, as a 5 year old, he’s VERY concerned about the “fairness” of it all. Aren’t we all buddy… Starting Kindergarten has been a very big life lesson for him (and me, and his dad). He tends to struggle with self-control, and has a very strong opinion on “right and wrong” (mostly when it has to do with what someone else is doing that is “wrong”). So daily we have to remind him that the only thing he needs to focus on is himself. Which got me thinking…
How many people waste time and energy (and stress!) worrying about things they can’t control? That guy that just cut in front of the line of cars that has been waiting patiently to turn? Ya, he’s a jerk, and of course it’s annoying, but you really can’t do anything about it, besides hope that karma catches up to him. My husband is AWFUL to drive with when there’s a lot of traffic. I feel like I can actually feel his blood boiling. He gets so frustrated with choices that other drivers make that you can feel the tension in the car. I constantly have to remind him that he can’t do anything about it, and to just ignore it and move on. How about when that friend calls to ask advice… Yes, that friend who seems to ALWAYS have the same problem, no matter how many times you’ve advised her on how to fix it. And continues to call and complain about the same problem. Annoying? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. But is it really your problem? NO! Then don’t stress about it. There are so many things in this world that can bring you down. Don’t let other peoples choices do it! Worry about the things you can control, and forget about the rest. Life is too short. You do you, boo.
Allison and I have had similar situations this week about our topic. This is about not being in control of other people and their behaviors. I know she gets a lot of it being an elementary school teacher! And with my grandkids as well. She told me a few weeks ago about a situation when granddaughter Kendall started pre-school. She picked her up and KK was mad. Allison asked what was wrong and she said another little girl wouldn’t play with her–that’s where the pouting came in. Hmmn, how to explain to a 3 year old that others are not always going to behave the way you want them to?
Do you have friends that make you crazy with their behavior or lifestyle? I have a friend that I have known for over 40 years. Yes, and we’re still friends! Her life hasn’t been ideal, and I’ve tried to always be there for her. After about the fifteenth phone call to me and me giving her advice that I was SURE she needed but NEVER took, it suddenly dawned on me that she was going to live her life just like she wanted to, for better or worse. I am not in control! She is the only only who can decide to change or to not change. It was a revelation, and I think realizing this has improved our relationship. Not that I don’t still try and make her see my point of view! Ha ha!
My family is pretty easy going and close–for the most part. My brothers and sister and I get along well and enjoy time spent together. And yet…there are those times I would sincerely like to clobber them!
It’s hard to remember when everything is going great that we have different personalities, beliefs, ideas. And I’m not just talking politics! We definitely try to stay away from THAT! I guess trying times will often bring out the worst in a person, and just as often they take out their frustrations on YOU. Turns out quite often that YOU are not the problem; you just happen to be the verbal sounding board. And of course by verbal I mean yelling. It’s not a pleasant situation, but I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about.
I guess the kicker is that it’s hard to remember that YOUR way is not the ONLY way, or maybe not even the best way. Try to remember that that person might be hurting or just looking for someone to unload to (yes, not grammatically correct). All you can do is try to “walk a mile in their shoes,” as the saying goes.
Or lend them your shoes and have them walk in them! Wouldn’t that be something?
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