I have never considered myself wanting control over life or being a controlling person who is not open to people. My version of ‘control’ is someone who places undue influence over another. I have thought that when I am with other people I am never dictatorial or dominating. Instead, I have generally felt that I am an ‘easy going’ person who seems fair and ‘goes with the flow’.
As an ‘easy going’ person, I would often find myself:
- Being very easy to please,
- Not saying a lot, and
- Agreeing with what my friends would like to do.
To me as an ‘easy going’ person, I would have never thought that I was harming anyone or me in any way.
I have been discovering recently though, that I have often placed more control over life than I would ever have first thought. I am realising when I am with other people that:
- I have held back what I am really feeling so as not to make anyone uncomfortable. I would often feel very clearly something may not be quite right with a situation or circumstance I may be in. It seemed though, that to honour my feelings would be an impediment or a hassle to others. I remember when I was at school assemblies many years ago and sometimes needing to use the bathroom during the middle of the proceedings. It seemed from early occurrences that not only were the people around me disrupted when I went, but so were the speakers and teachers. I quickly learned that holding on and putting up with my own discomfort was easier than the discomfort of feeling the imposition I seemed to make on others when I did choose to honour my feelings.
- My life has been riddled with moments of silence. This is often felt as an awkward silence where I would hold back things I wanted to express to someone but never felt that I could. It felt like there was this great weight holding my voice back and it seemed too difficult to voice what I wanted to say. I would subsequently find out on many occasions that what I wanted to say was actually something the other person needed to hear because it would have really helped them with their day. One of these examples happened to me recently after grocery shopping when talking with the checkout lady, where I wished I had said what a lovely person she was and how much care I could feel she placed in doing a quality job. I could feel she seemed a little down at the time and I wanted to share exactly what I was feeling about her: instead I said nothing.
- Often with friends, organising a get-together had to be focussed around ‘doing’ – an activity or some form of stimulation – like a movie. I would find myself thinking “What are we going to do after we finish the activity together?” It seemed like being with the other person and not doing anything would be too boring and I always felt like I had to do something with them to cover that up. What happened to the days when I was young where I could lie on the riverbank and cloud-gaze with a friend… and have the most fun from the simplicity of doing very little?
These memories of being with others have showed me that I often control the situation to make sure the activities I do with friends do not create moments where we could just talk and get to know each other better. It almost seems like a shield of protection.
Holding back what I am feeling helps me to ensure that I will not get rejected from my friends for doing or saying something that they would not like.
I have felt that being silent helped me by ensuring that others will not get put off or reject me for the truth that I would bring to situations.
I realised the pattern of doing things and wanting to be kept busy when I hung out with people helps to ensure the others don’t see me for who I am. It helps to minimise the rejection for being someone that they may not like.
What if using control over life as a protective shield didn’t help me at all? What if being more of a controlling person in these situations actually hurt me?
Since realising this, I have gotten rid of my protective shield and been more open to people than ever before. I have been sharing my smile, imparting my joy and most of all being more of me. I can see now that I choose to be comfortable by using control over life (in the disguise of an easy going person who was actually being a controlling person) instead of being me, the joy I am, in each moment of my life.
This was inspired by the joyful way I am forever seeing my friends and family live on a daily basis. Through Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon I have been guided to open up and be more of the amazing man I am.
By Joshua Campbell (21), Living in Christchurch New Zealand