Ant on a Log, my journey down the rapidsPosted by: lainiibrahim | Posted on: July 22, 2012
I am a control freak.
I have memories of being in a crib, looking through the slats crying. Thats not entirely true. I have created a memory, based on being told that against her own judgement, my mother left me to cry, sometimes hours at night, so that I could teach myself to sleep. Its the way the Brits had done it for year. It was part of child-training, and it created youngsters with a stiff upper lip — self control.
My true memory is of traveling on a plane. This was in the days before jetways. I was holding my mother’s hand on the stairs that were driven up to the plane. Something must have made the stairs move, because suddenly I was dreadfully frightened of being left. I let go of my mothers hand, and ran up the stairs towards the perceived safety of the plane. I remember being frightened. My fear was not of leaving my mother, it was of “being left”.
This feeling extended itself through many many instances in my life. I doubled up on math in high school, because I felt that I was “behind” my peers. I nagged my boyfriend (then husband) about his whereabouts constantly, fearing “being left”.
The result of the feeling was an extreme need to control my surroundings. As a teen, I needed to be “right” so badly, that i was constantly engaged in sometimes friendship damaging debates. I moved as far away from my mother as possible so that she couldn’t “control” my life. I was adamant about making enough money to “support my family” — when as a young wife, I could have leaned on my husband a bit.
This last point drove a wedge that could have ended badly. But I didn’t even know that this desire for control could hurt me. I didn’t know that there were any feelings behind it. I told myself that I was being independent, and that was good. But the truth is, by trying to control everything around me, I felt unbound and out of control when I COULDN’t control. I was living in fear. But this could change.
I learned to feel the fear, and accept it as a feeling. Other feelings came up. I was afraid of being misunderstood, of being thought of as needy. That being Needy was bad, and weak. These were all valid feelings….but they were feelings that could be let go.
Thank you “fear of being misunderstood”, you strengthened my communication skills. Thank you “fear of being thought of as needy”, you helped me become a productive member of society. Thank you “fear of being left behind”, that doubling up on math subjects probably got me to MIT. Thank you “fear of being left alone”, you helped me build a support network. Thank you, and goodbye. You limiting beliefs no longer serve me. I am understood. I am self-sufficient. I am on target, and I am surrounded by supportive people. I don’t need those beliefs anymore.
I am a control freak, but I no longer try to control what is outside, choosing instead to control what is inside.
I am no longer an ant on a log believing that I am controlling the log. The log is going down the rapids, and I am too small to control it. But I CAN control me. I can increase my grip, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride.
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