I’m starting this blog with a case of writers block. I have so far written about 5 different openings and deleted them all. New opening lines keep coming half formed into my mind and I am rejecting them out right as none of them quite encompass what I really want to say or don’t have the right tone.
I am grappling with and trying to control the flow of words rather than trusting that the right ones will come to me – I am ahead of myself and thinking and worrying about what others will think about when they read this and whether they will assume its about them and possibly take offence, not that I have anything offensive to say, but because holding up a mirror that people don’t want to look in can cause friction.
The whole situation is a good metaphor actually for what I want to write about, expanding on the one sentence I have scribbled on my note pad; you only control you.
It’s very easy for us to put our energy into holding other people accountable for situations that we find ourselves in. It may well even be the case that someone else’s actions, or even your own actions in the past have lead you to where you are now; but you have no control over that. You cannot control someone else’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours or actions. You cannot control what you yourself have thought, said or done in the past either.
All you have is your thoughts and your actions right now. In this very moment.
If you want something to be different, you need to stop waiting for someone else to take on the responsibility for making it so and look at how you can change your own thoughts and actions to make a difference.
Your thoughts about a situation can be so ingrained it can seem impossible to change them, but this is one of the only things you actually do have control of in your life. Changing your thoughts doesn’t change the time line of events, what has happened has happened, but you don’t have to keep thinking in the same way and allowing whatever the past is holding to keep hurting you.
The other thing you can change is your actions – what you choose to say and do. You can hope for a certain response from others, but you can’t control that. If you can go into a situation knowing what you want to say, what message you want to portray and how you want to behave and be content with the outcome that your words and actions were consistent with your values then let’s count that as a win, no matter the outcome from the other side.
Trying to control anything other than your own thoughts and actions is a reaction based in fear, it’s counterproductive and exhausting and a big cause of tension and sadness. Whenever you catch yourself doing this, take the best advice the Beatles ever gave us, whisper words of wisdom, let it be.