I think the most common struggle I see in my practice, from clients of all ages, is the discomfort and pain that comes from trying to force things to happen, trying to make people do what we want them to do, and trying to make life happen the way we think it should. In other words CONTROLLING. Controlling behaviors can take show up in any form, from disordered eating to conflicts in work and personal relationships. Often times we can recognize that our behaviors are controlling because we might find ourselves feeling crazy, realizing that our efforts aren’t working, and we are alienated from others. Underlying our need to control we will find feelings that we need to confront and deal with; usually those feelings include fear.
I’ve written a lot about confronting our fears and at risk of sounding like a broken record, I will again emphasize the importance of feeling our feelings. In the beginning this can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience. However, in order to move beyond the discomfort we need to stop running from our emotions and from what is really going on with us. Feelings are emotional energy and they are our responsibility. If we can stand still and simply feel our feelings, rather than blaming them on others, allowing them to control us, or trying to control others with them, they will often go away. Ignoring our feelings doesn’t make them go away, in fact it usually makes them get bigger, and they will start to come out in other ways, often strange, harmful, and unpredictable ways. Many people have learned from their families that is isn’t okay to feel. However, it is possible to learn to accept and value the emotional part of ourselves; it is important and closely connected to happiness and health.