Day 1137: Control

Yesterday’s group therapy topic was


Yes, control.

Since I’m in control of writing this, I’ll now tell you I can’t control my surprise about having written only one previous post with the word “control” in the title during all my one thousand, one hundred and thirty-six consecutive days of controlling this WordPress blog. I can’t control the past, even though I might wish I’d written more about this important topic. And — as it says in that one previous controlling post — I can’t control what any of you might do, but I can suggest that you click on the link for Day 140: We cannot control other people.

Having/not having control can bring up a lot of feelings for people, including:

  • fear
  • anxiety
  • satisfaction
  • hope
  • hopelessness
  • acceptance
  • anger
  • avoidance
  • relief
  • frustration
  • happiness
  • shame
  • guilt
  • despair
  • self-consciousness,
  • excitement,
  • worry,
  • confusion,
  • caution,
  • ambition,
  • love,
  • hate, and
  • many, many more.

Since I’m in control here, I’m not going to look up supporting articles for this statement, but I think studies show that human beings need to believe they have some measure of control over their lives in order to thrive and be happy.

I can’t control what other photos are on my iPhone from yesterday. Actually, I can control them enough to bring them over here, like so:










What are your thoughts about control, at this point in this controlled and controlling post?

I can’t control whether you leave a comment, but I can control how I respond to your response to this post about control.

Uncontrolled gratitude to all those who helped me take control of this post and to you — of course! — for the control to show up here, today.

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 43 Comments

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43 thoughts on “Day 1137: Control

  1. Hi Ann – your posts always inspire me to do better but I keep failing. Anyway, not sure if I already told you but I am taking a prolonged blog break in order to figure a few things out. I will still ready you posts, and others’ but just silently. I need to shut up, I guess. Jx

    • I want to take control of my answer to you, Julie, to say this (1) please try to let go of the self-critical thoughts you are having, (2) you are not a failure, (3) I would miss your voice if you shut up, and (4) take whatever time you need for your own self-care. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. I’m not sure we can control anything outside ourselves – and not always ourselves

  3. Being out of control, whether real or just perceived, is the source of so much stress in our lives. An important post, Ann. Nicely done. ❤️

  4. We can only try to keep ourselves in control Ann, we don’t have control about much else.

  5. I used to be very controlling but have worked on it a lot. Surrender.

  6. I believe I have a great deal of control over what happens in my life, but I also believe in magical thinking and positive energy. If one surrounds themselves in positive energy, good things will come. That is why I love to read your posts, because they are always so positive.
    I hope you have a most amazing day!!!!!!!

  7. Some of my happiest experiences have come from surrendering control. I’ve set out on trips without any clear idea of where I was going and it’s led to some wonderful surprises. Sometimes, though, in retrospect I feel I would have enjoyed the trips more if I’d planned ahead–I missed out on some things because I wasn’t in control.
    The problem is finding that balance, but I have to accept that knowing in advance whether to surrender or take control is one thing I’ll never fully be able to control.

  8. We can control not to control and let it go. By the way, I am glad that I met you. Let me tell you my experience. Yesterday, I was with two kids from a big city. They were shouting and swearing at each other for simple gestures like the young one accidentally pushed the elder sister elbow and the elder one yelling the sister not to bang the door. Simultaneously, the father and mother keep on shouting them ” shut up” , ” DOn’t fight or I will give you punishment” and the parents keep on telling them even on sitting ” please don’t slouch”, on standing ” please don’t hunch”. On eating ” please don’t eat too much, eat only half”. the whole situation made me feel frustrated. The kids like me because I always took them to beach. Then their dad doesn’t allow anymore as I don’t stop them from standing on the stone. I told him ” my parents were relaxed when we were young” and he looked at me like one kind. I can clearly see trying to control too much has more negative impact. hahaha. If you want to control, you just have to control your anger and I can’t do it now. Hopefully, one day. Thanks for fantastic post.

  9. When I can’t help somebody who really needs it, due to my not having any control over things that are within human control, I go a little crazy.

  10. Perhaps the hardest lesson we have to learn in life is this one. The ONLY thing in this entire universe over which we have any control at all, in reality, is ourselves, and our minds….. The universe, in turn, does not care at all whether or not we agree with this, or how we feel about it. Thus, it becomes our task to learn to accept it, or not, as we choose… which determines whether or not we will live a life of confusion, or one of serenity….

    Always our choice, and the only one we have….

    Always a pleasure to examine your posts….

    gigoid, the dubious

  11. I know I feel better when I feel in control of as much as possible, Ann, even though so much is out of my control and has a tendency to veer out of control. Such is my life!

  12. Control is what famous philosopher Nietzsche called “will to power”, and the title of one of his books. I am personally “allergic” to controlling people, and I can immediately sense one in a place, when I studied, for example, in school. Unfortunately, society also imposes controlling people on other people. It’s like a hierarchy of dominant personalities, and the one that works is usually on top, be it at work, school, or home. It’s all a game, however, but a serious one for people who are caught in “codependency”. Unfortunately, there are people out there who seek to have authority and control over themselves because they’re used to being a victim, so they will be happy when they get it. Codependency usually follows, and if they’re able to recognize the victimization pattern, they will be free.

    Children and cognitively impaired persons are another matter, however. They need someone to look over their shoulder. Nevertheless, life is a journey of discovery and introspection. Ultimately, we can take advice from others, but it’s up to us to figure out how we’re going to live. Advice in a good manner can sometimes seem like control. Sometimes ‘caring’ is confusing because one thinks it’s how love works. Good advice that yield fruits is love, it can be healthy because it’s nurturing. People who can help other people can nurture them, and that is not controlling, on the other hand, it’s universal love. However, it eventually ends also. Nurturing people means also to let them go their own way.

  13. Carol Ferenc

    Yes, I need to feel I have some degree of control in my life. I agree that we need that to thrive and be happy. Trying to control anyone or anything else is futile.

  14. Something I am learning to be better at everyday!

  15. For Ann–My thoughts about control:
    1. I am the Queen of My Blog
    2. I am not the Queen of my Husband
    3. I am not the Queen of my Cat
    4. I am not the Queen of Anything except the Queen (that would be Me)
    5. I am in Control of when I stop this List of I ams and I am nots.
    6. In case you’re wondering, Control is a Big Issue in My Life–both Taking It and Letting It Go.
    7. Right now I am not in Control of whether you will allow this Comment or turn it into Spam. Nonetheless, I have successfully let go of my need for you to Allow It. But not my right to my Feelings about what you do or not do.
    8. On the Whole, I am Exceedingly Happy to be here today reading about You and Control and everyone else’ Comments. To say nothing of the Privilege of leaving this Response.

  16. I like being in control, but I have also experienced the pleasurable freedom of not being in control. sometimes you need to take control, and sometimes you need to sit back and relinquish it. Thanks for controlling your blog and your photographs!

  17. I am trying to not to get hung up having control. The less is the better 🙂

  18. I think, though am not certified to support my thoughts, that children growing up without any control in their life, end up becoming adults who either harm themselves trying to find control (in whatever they happen upon that makes them feel like they have control), or adults who become overly controlling in absolutely everything, or if they are lucky, work very hard in learning about themselves and control becomes a learned ‘thing’ for them.

    I have no control on sentence structure. 😉

  19. My ex-wife and I set up a control meter using a piece of cardboard divided into rectangles, and two different colored magnets with our initials on them. The rectangles marked the level of control each thought the other had at any particular moment, so that is where the magnet was placed. The weakest(on the far left) was represented by a wet sponge, while the strongest(on the far right) was depicted by Spike, the bulldog.

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