We’ve all come across controlling people in our lives. Some more than others. It’s easy to say “Oh, that person is so controlling, it makes me insane”, but have you ever stopped to think why that person is acting that way? We all have a need to control something in our lives to feel safe, and grounded. To believe that things moving forward are predictable and we can properly prepare. The problem with control is when we move it outside of ourselves with the need to control others, or worse, hard ourselves in the process.
Ultimately, the bottom line is this: we need to control our external environment because our internal environment and personal narrative is in disorder and chaos. Instead of looking within, we look outside of ourselves and blame the outside world, the people in it for the pain and what and disarray inside of us.
One certainty in life is change and at times unpredictability. The best we can truly do, what we have real agency over, is to continue to look inside of ourselves and observe our reactions, responses and actions to external events.
When going through the process of divorce, one thing is certain, divorce is inherently a destabilizing process that uproots your life and calls most of what you know to be true about yourself and those you love into question. This alone, aside from the financial, family and support group changes can be incredibly unnerving. How most people react is to hunker down and try to control everything that they come across. Attach, clinge and resist change. As a divorce coach, my first response to this, is to ask my clients to begin to write out a list of their priorities. What is it that is most important to them, and what they would like to hold onto from their past life as they move on to the next chapter of their journey. Then in our work we explore the list one by one and create a game plan, execution plan and a timeline – accountability is key to execution. When we begin to work toward a life we want, the internal sense of chaos begins to lessen – we are being effective and acting out of self interest, and so the need to control those around us, the circumstances that have led us to where we are begins to subside as we take accountability for, and agency in the life path we intend and set forth.
Divorce is a lesson, as is everything in life – should you choose to see it that way. It is up to you as to how you want to move through it, what you want to learn about yourself in the process and how you come out of it. Life is complex, complicated – there is no linear path – that is the beauty of life and change. You have full authority to create the life you want for yourself.