Kicking Your Addiction to Control – Part 1 (Powerlessness)

OK, so you clicked this link…

Not because you have control issues I’m sure 🙂

So let’s talk about Control…

No need to re-invent the wheel, this excerpt from David Benner’s ‘Soulful Spirituality’ is brilliant!

The first confrontation with external realities over which we have no control is birth. No foetus feels ready for being thrust into a world that at first will be experienced as unimaginably harsh. The first few years of life will inevitably bring many more opportunities to learn that we are subject to forces beyond our control, and the developing ego will take many hard knocks in this process.

Slowly we are seduced by the illusion that we can, if we try hard enough, control our life. We pretend to be in control, and even if at some level we know this is not actually true, we remain committed to acting as if it is. It feels like the natural way to be in the world. But it is a way of being that cuts us off from life.

At times, however, we are all forced to acknowledge our very limited real control over what happens to us. We become seriously ill, we experience the death of someone or something dear to us, and we encounter reversals in life that take away that which we have so assiduously collected and clutched. We may feel powerless and insecure. We may even feel fearful about the future or anxious about the present. 

Our first reaction to the presence of unwelcome events over which we have no control is usually to brace ourselves against them. We resist things that we cannot run from but that we desperately want to avoid. WE may also feel anger at these reminders of our powerlessness. They seem like a violation of some implicit contract – a betrayal of our right to be in control of our own life.

We resent the disruption to our life plan that they represent because they challenge the illusion that we are in control.

But while these times feel like they are full of great danger, they are, in fact, full of great promise. These are moments when it may just be possible to change our fundamental orientation to life. They are invitations to surrender the dominance of our ego and its relentless demands for control. Leaning into them may be frightening, but failing to do so will always mean the loss of an opportunity for growth. We may have future chances but resistance reinforces resistance, and so each one offers a progressively smaller and smaller window of opportunity.

Good gear hey!

Here’s my short definition…

“Control is the instinctive response to our fear of powerlessness and the feelings of insecurity that come with it.”

and we’re all addicted…

I will go out on a limb and say, that second only to Fear & Shame, Control is the largest force of evil on the planet.

And sadly, as the Pastor of a church, I’ve learned more on Fear, Shame & Control from researching organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous and researchers like Brene’ Brown than from going to church.

I feel that if the average church would simply allow itself to be a ‘Bullshit Free Zone’ just like AA, then the outcome would be genuine authenticity, and we could forget the cheesy sales pitches along with the relentless quest for relevance that we think is so attractive to non church-goers.

I think genuine authenticity is much more attractive to people than ‘coolness’

but it’s messy

and less ‘controllable’ 🙂

So here’s Step 1 in kicking your addiction to control

(I have adapted AA’s step 1 from their 12 step recovery program by changing the word Alcohol to Control)

I admit I am powerless over Control—that my life has become unmanageable.

Stay tuned for…

Part 2 – The Addiction behind all other addictions

Part 3 – Leaning into Surrender

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, please like, comment, share or all three. Cheers


2 thoughts on “Kicking Your Addiction to Control – Part 1 (Powerlessness)

  1. Excellent blog I have a lot of David benners books if u want to read more of his books u can borrow them😄

    Love Bev



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