Beyond being in control

Gary, Davis, Control, Needinc, Clueless, Christians, Let it go, letting goStaying in control is probably the #1 value of most people in Western Society. Being out of control is scary; it is always lurking just below the surface of our consciousness. Personal security, personal independence, and personal significance are our TOP priorities (after food and shelter.) We have this innate fear of being out-of-control.

Some people take it too far; becoming micro-managers at work and a home. They must be hands-on and on-top of everything. If this attitude becomes embedded in a person’s psyche it creates issues of trust and insecurity. Even close friends do not want to be around them. Sometimes, it causes people to hide their true selves from those outside and to cocoon within a private world of fantasy or fear. This is not good for the soul.

However, there is another path to be taken for those who draw their strength and define their identity from somewhere beyond this present realm. It is for those who have decided that being in-control isn’t as safe and secure as they once thought. It is for those who are tired of working so feverishly to have power over everything around them. It is for those who are ready to let go.

Moving beyond being in control is frightening and terrifying. It means that you are consciously removing yourself from the button, the control switch, from being the central figure around whom all others must revolve. You must become such a person who will put your faith, your trust, in others, and, quite frankly, in God.

Why is it that we rise to our point of success in life, only to find a ceiling of doubt and emptiness at the top? The reason is that we were not meant to climb this ladder in isolation, as individuals; we were designed to do it in relationships: first, in relationships with those around us, and second, in relationship with the God who made us. This is not rocket-surgery; it is an obvious observance.

We must move beyond being in control to trust, to delegation, both of responsibility and authority, and to letting go. [Listen— Paul Cardall. Letting Go. ]. It is in letting go of control that we lose our tightness, our fears, our need for dominance, and put on the cloak of grace.

If you truly want to lead, then you must move beyond being in control and learn to let go.


For what it’s worth,




Since we’re on the topic..

I was talking with a friend, and we got on the subject of life’s baggage.  We both remarked at the amount of “life baggage” we can build and have to drag along with us year after year. He was acutely aware of how his own baggage had recently affected his life and those he loved. He wished so much had been different. I understood.

A lot of us, as we accumulate our own little pile of life-baggage, get to a point when we just want to dump it all. So we quit: we quit our jobs, we quit our relationships, we move, re “re-make” ourselves.  We think we have jettisoned our past, our baggage; but it’s still there, weighing us down. I spoke with a writer today, just a casual conversation on the streets of Northampton, who had so much to give, so much creativity, so much life left. But at 50 years old (or so) there seemed to be Gordian knots all intertwined within, binding him in his own frustration.

Baggage, left unchecked, gets heavier as time passes.

For my friend, he felt like his whole past was dragging him down, holding him back, weighing on him. How about you? Do you feel like your life’s baggage is piling up—on top of you?

In some ways, I think our baggage is just other people unwilling to forgive us: then again, it may also be us, unwilling to forgive ourselves. We can be dumb that way, always beating ourselves up and then acting surprised that we have bruises. Duh.

But, more realistically, a lot of our life-baggage are the mistakes, the screw-ups, the devastation, the unresolved relationships we have left behind us that haunt us. And there is nobody to blame but ourselves. WE are the ones who packed our own bags with all that crap. Admit it—you’re not as perfect as you would like to think you are, or what you want others to think you are. Neither am I.

But frankly, sometimes, as the saying goes, “shit-happens.” You get the point. You feel like the whole world just comes down on you and you’ve done nothing to deserve “this.”

At other times people whom we believed to be true friends, have betrayed us, used us, or abandoned us in our hour of need. This is one of the most devastating scenarios in the world. It hurts deeply. But we have to deal with it. We have to! It’s a heavy piece of luggage.

So, here is a little “Baggage-Check” for you.

1)     Make sure it’s YOUR baggage. If you’re got to drag around life-baggage, at least make sure it’s really yours—your mess-ups, your wrecked relationships, your lies, and not someone else’s.

2)     Own up to your past. If you have made a mess of things in the past admit it. If you’re not sure you made a mess of things—ask. You could be carrying around someone else’s bags.

3)     Forgive yourself—finally. You cannot correct the past. You can seek forgiveness; you can offer reparation, make amends, etc, but you cannot change what was done.

4)     It could be that some things have happened in the past, a tragic experience, a loss of a loved one, an accident, something, that you need to move beyond. You may want to seek some professional help for that. At least start to pray about it. God does listen; you may not like his advice, but he listens like a friend.

5)     Similarly, some things may have been done to you in the past that turned you bitter, resentful, or just defeated you in general. They’re hard to let go of, aren’t they? Many people seek revenge for the rest of their lives; or they just cut off all communication with the offending party. I guess I would ask, “Why?” Carrying this kind of baggage will not only weaken your right arm, it will eventually cripple you, and kill you. Aren’t you more of a person than that? I think so.  Ask yourself, “Can I forgive this person, deep down? Even if they never know it?” Or maybe they do need to know it. Healing is a wonderful thing.

6)     You CAN change the future, and yourself. What is it, exactly, that you want to change? How are you going to do it? Do you need a friend who can help you out?  Friends are cool. [Remember, a friend will help you move. But a true friend will help you move a body.]

7)     Let it go. I think some people let their past gnaw away at them, eating away at their souls. Don’t let the dumb things you’ve done in your past drag you down and eat you up.

Dump the baggage. You need to move on to whatever it is God has designed you for next.

By the way, LL Bean makes a nice set of Ballistic Luggage; really sturdy stuff that can take a lot of beating. Great for future travels.