Reflections on Control

Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear sent my head spinning when he appeared on the Oprah Show. He said that if someone doesn’t listen the first time you say “no”, they are trying to control you.


Why have I never thought of that?  As Oprah added, this applies to everyone from your husband to your two-year-old.

And it applies to me.

I’m sure my friends and family have a clear idea of how seldom I take “no” for an answer from them.  I’m busy examining my inability to accept “no” from myself.  Is tenacity another word for control?  When I realize how hard it is for me to accept “no”, I realize how controlling I am.

Years ago, my daughter gave me a card picturing an old man in the lotus position.  His words of wisdom are, “Only dead fish go with the flow.”  I save that card as a poster for my life.  As much as I say I want to be flexible and spontaneous and easy to be with, I have spent my life determined to NOT GIVE UP, FIGURE IT OUT, MAKE IT WORK; all translations for making sure I get my own way.

I call it problem solving.  I DON’T call it manipulation.  I call myself a creative thinker.

Ah, and speaking of thoughts…  My book of aspirations begins with my mission in life.  And there are now 6 pages following my mission listing the people and issues I hold in my heart and mind.   It is my road map for visioning. It may be my son’s health; or my daughter’s contentment; a friend’s recovery from grief; another friend’s recovery from cancer; a grandchild’s courage.   Once again, I do not accept “no”.   I fully expect my mind to order the universe when life is out of  (my) control.

Very interesting!  My head is still spinning.


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