Posted by: sistermom1 | July 31, 2010

Control Freak?

This question has dogged me off and on throughout this journey — being in control – or at least believing that I am in control – has been a major issue for me over the past couple of years.

Having very minimal control over my health from day to day, I have become more concerned (obsessed?) with being in control of other things. Truth be told, there are very few things that any of us actually are in charge of.  In fact, many of the things that I have fancied myself to control, really cannot be controlled at all.   Things like my children, my husband, how safely my husband will drive while out on an errand, how long that errand will actually take, whether or not he remembered to bring his cell phone with him on the errand and whether or not I am able to reach him if he takes longer than I expected are just a few of the things that I worry about not being able to control.

Seeming like I am in control has played a big part in the professional image I have crafted over the years.  I was always in the middle of things — relationships revolved around me (or so I thought!), and I was the person who knew just about everyone that anyone would need to contact to get anything done.  My goal in life was to be no more than 2 phone calls from whatever anyone in my family needed.  As an executive recruiter, I was getting close.  I already spoke with hundreds of people every week, and people often were very helpful to me since I knew about so many attractive, senior-level  professional opportunities around the country.  My “sphere of influence” was fairly large, and I attempted to enlarge it regularly.

When I was diagnosed with MS, everything about my daily reality did not change immediately.   Although my father died later that same year (which really rocked my world), it took about 2 years before things changed pretty dramatically.  Without getting too caught up in my story,  my sphere of influence completely shrunk.  I felt like my entire sphere shrank to include simply myself and my immediate family.  Completely overwhelmed by the dramatic fatigue that is often a symptom with MS, I had neither the energy nor the desire to influence anyone or anything outside of myself.  This was horrifying, and it has taken me these 2 1/2 years to even acknowledge this reality. 

This shrinking of my “sphere of influence” has brought me face-to-face with my own self-image and my own reality.   My Buddhist practice has helped me face this reality and through facing it, has revealed many levels of my life that I need to change to become a stronger and more evolved person.  So how does all of this relate to my issue of control?  I am just starting to see a connection, but so far, I am learning that detatching from the perception of control that I had has left me more open to the opportunities that exist for me to be closer to my husband and children, as well as the chance to really be more in control of what really matters in my life. 

And what are those things?  I will let you know as this journey continues….

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