One of the more hidden aspects of my personality has been my desire to be overly control. Whilst a certain amount of self-control is healthy and necessary, like most of us, I have also got an inner control freak. I have tried to unhealthily control myself, my feelings and events around me, as well as other people and their feelings.
One of my teachers Chuck Spezzano, gave me a major insight into this dynamic a few years ago, when he suggested, “We only control because we lack confidence. We control to avoid our feelings. The more you learn to handle all your feelings, gradually the more confident you will become.”
Something resonated with my deeply about that idea. I realised that the unhealthy control was hiding some of the terror I actually felt. By trying to control, I hoped I would avoid the terror. I didn’t have much faith in myself, Life or others.
The more I have faced my fears, the more I willing to embrace and allow myself to feel all of my feelings that I had buried away deep inside me, the more I have grown in confidence. I prefer now to be in more in charge and less in control. Often though, each letting go of control feels like a mini death, but with each mini death comes the emergence of a new aspect of my Self and my creative expression.
This idea was echoed by a line I loved in Bruce Springsteen’s song 1992, Human Touch, that says,:
“Girl, that feeling of safety you prize,
Well it comes with a hard, hard, price,
You can’t shut off the risk and the pain,
Without losing the love that remains.”
I had missed out on a lot by being so controlling. The more I keep allowing myself to risk, the more confident I become. I am recovering my innate confidence. A lot of my need to control had come from simply my unwillingness to feel what I was feeling. I was afraid of my own feelings, that I would be overwhelmed or “taken out or taken over” by my own feelings, whether it was anger, my love, my pain, my jealousy or my desire. It seemed easier just to bury them away, override and suppress them. But then I felt a degree of deadness and cut off the love. Control has cut off so much!
So my path is this: I continually aim to grow in confidence by doing the things that I am inspired to do but don’t feel ready to do yet. My goal is to continue to develop my emotional maturity. I allow more of my feelings to surface and make friends with them. I am developing more faith in myself and in Life.
So here is this week’s enquiry: What are you being asked to grow in confidence about being able to handle?