Hi, my name's Melissa and I have control issues.
Believe it or not, it takes a lot for many of us to admit this about ourselves. There are many reasons why we think we do it. We think this means we're somehow better adults for it. We think it means we're mature, that this is the way it's supposed to be.
The problem with forcing something - anything - is that the pushback is its way of telling us that it isn't supposed to be this way....but we ignore it. If it happened organically, wouldn't that be easier?
Let me give you some personal examples. I try so hard to keep people in my life. I'm cringing as I type this because I'm very aware of how sad that probably sounds. When people attempt to disappear from my life - usually friends - I have been know to send texts, even though I know I'll get no response. I'll pop up and like things on social media, just to remind them I'm still here. Honestly, it's only in the last couple of years that I've really pushed myself to stop doing these things and just let those people go away. It's been a big process, and it isn't always easy.
The first step? I had to figure out why it was so important for me to try and keep these people in my bubble. For me, it's fear. I'm not afraid that people won't like me. Realistically, it would be great if everyone did, but I'm a no-bullshit person. I have strong opinions and I tend to really love something, or really hate it. I've always felt things in extremes, and that can be really difficult for people in my life. The real problem is that I'm afraid people will leave. I collect people who need things. I like to fix things for people, help them. I like to show them their potential, make them feel special, even at the expense of myself. It has always made people love me.
Rarely is it easy, but I try to remember that people wander in and out of our lives all the time. Either we enter theirs to teach them something, or they enter ours to teach us.
Having the things and people in my life behave a certain way feels safe. There are no surprises if that happens, right? If you are beneficial to people, they'll always be there, right?
Wrong. I've learned that heartbreak will still happen. You could still end up homeless or hungry or embarrassed or falling flat on your face. People and pets will still die. It is the people who stick by us during all this that matters. They are the organic fit for your life. It doesn't mean you don't have to put in the work to keep them healthy, but it does mean that you're not working alone.
If you have to push and push and push, but they're not meeting you halfway, let it go. If you keep trying to love your career, but you are always miserable and not getting anywhere and not feeling fulfilled, let it go. If you keep trying to love that Zumba class, but running makes you feel more alive, cancel that class and hit the track.
Let that shit go. Listen to that nagging feeling in your gut that keeps telling you to move on but you keep lying to yourself that this is the way life is. It isn't! Yes, even the things we love require showing up and putting in the work, but if you continue to let fear call the shots, you will get nowhere.
This week, I'm going to set aside time each day to really look at what I'm afraid of and the ways in which I let it control me instead of the other way around. I encourage you to try it. Start with something small, keep a journal. It gives you something to look back on.