It’s very difficult to let go of control. As a teacher, I felt the pressure to “control my class” which really meant keeping them quiet and engaged. I never quite managed the peaceful part of that. I preferred to keep my students noisy and engaged. However, there are times that I have had to acknowledge that things are out of my control and that’s challenging for me.
Wanting To Stop The Pain.
It’s not difficult to recognize that I have no control over large scale issues such as wars in other countries. But as issues get closer to me, I’m fooled into thinking I have some influence over the situation. When my community, friend group or family are in painful situations, I desperately want to alleviate it. This is mainly for them, but also for me, who has to watch them in distress. When someone close to me is in pain, recognizing that I have no ability to help them, is torturous. My anxiety is triggered and I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas of how I could help, control, minimize, or eliminate their pain.
Acknowledging Suffering Will Happen
In the calmer light of day, I’ve realize that the only control I have over a situation is how I respond to it. I realize that I have to stop being angry and frustrated that people I care about are suffering. They will continue to experience pain and I have no control over that. What I do have control over is my reaction to their situation.
Doing The Hard Thing
I want to run away from witnessing their distress but it try to stay. That’s hard and I recognize that some times I need to disconnect and can’t be there. When I’m able, I try to listen and support them even though it feels futile because it doesn’t change the situation they’re in. It’s my hope that it changes how much they suffer to have someone with them to hold their hand. Accepting when things were out of my control, is a struggle.
Sitting with someone who’s in pain can be tough. But the most supportive thing we can do is to truly listen and be present with them in that very moment — without trying to fix the situation, making assumptions, making it about ourselves or minimizing their pain.”*Click below for ideas on how to support someone who is in pain.