What Happened When I Stopped Trying To Control Everything

I had always believed that I had to be in control of everything in my life. It sounds impossible when put into words, but that's how I used to live my life until recently.

A little over a year ago, a few things were falling out of place and I had no idea what to do. I left one job to escape a problematic situation and started another job only to find myself facing an exaggeration of the same problem. I was in a relationship that felt like we were at war with one another because both of us wanted to be in control, and I had left a living situation with friends to live with a stranger in an arrangement filled with drama and turmoil.

It sounds clichéd, but one day I gave in. I found myself exhausted from trying to control everything when I was clearly unable to. This is what happened when I did decide to let go and let things take their course:

1. I stopped living in "when" and started living in "now."

I used to always say that I would be content when things would go my way. When I lose that weight or When I get that job or When I get that raise. I learned that living with expectance was not allowing me to appreciate the moment because I constantly wanted more. This created a cycle of my being unable to appreciate anything I had because I was so focused on wanting things to be the way that I wanted them to be.

Once I let go of the desire to have everything my way, I freed myself. I stopped driving myself crazy with wanting things to be different.

2. I started appreciating people.

When I let go of wanting people to respond or think the way that I had expected them to, it allowed me to appreciate the positive aspect of how diverse and unique we all are. People are allowed to be who they are. People will do things they want to; not how I want them to.

3. I learned a lesson from Nature.

The weather changes for a reason. It won't always be sunny; sometimes it will rain and if I love the sunshine as much as I do, I can appreciate the rain. It's helping me appreciate the sunshine because it reminds me that the Sun won't always be around. Just like life, there are some situations that may seem uncomfortable—sometimes even painful. However, these situations help us appreciate the situations that are joyful. When the joyful times come around, I remember when it wasn't joyful, which helps me appreciate it more.

4. I cried for a day and then got up the next day.

It was only natural for me to be sad or emotional when things weren't going my way; however, emotions don't lead to success—progressive actions do. I sobbed like a toddler who'd had a toy taken away from her, but then I got up and focused my energy on how to deal with the situation. I made a decision to take action because my emotions wouldn't get me as far as my actions would.

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