I used to be a control freak.
Everything in my life had to be perfect.
From a young age, I had to be the best pupil in the class at school. If I wasn't getting the best grades then I would worry. The teachers couldn't understand my concerns. It was just me being me.
I remember when I took a beauty therapy course in my mid twenties. The director of the school told me she was concerned because I was getting 100% on every test.
She was concerned because, "These marks can only go down, not up!" These words have come to mean so much more to me.
I was so concerned with appearing perfect that the only way I could go was down. And I did. When I turned 40. Right to rock bottom.
I was married with three young children at the time. Everything is my life was controlled and not just by me. My husband was quite controlling. I don't think he meant to be, it was just who he was, something he had learned.
My house looked perfect, my family looked perfect, I looked perfect -- but perfection isn't sustainable or even attainable.
I thought I was happy, but then I met someone who showed me that how I was living wasn't great. I slowly began to realize that I needed to make massive changes.
It became clear that the pursuit of perfection was going to be never-ending, and I decided to jump off in an explosive fashion. I did something to make myself imperfect. Something morally wrong. It was the best thing I ever did.
Now I was imperfect, and it was ok. Bad stuff ensued, and a nasty divorce from a controlling, bitter husband dragged me to the lowest place I'd ever been to in my life. It was the making of me.
Now I am perfectly imperfect, and it works perfectly.
I no longer have to control anything.
I have learned that you can't control what anybody else says or does, you can only control how you react. My reaction is always kindness and understanding, and life is so much more peaceful.
I do not fight others' opinions or tell them what to do with their lives. I live as I do, and if people want to follow my example then good for them. Nothing anybody else says or does can get to me now I no longer feel the need to control.
Is there someone in your life who is like the former me -- someone who needs to control everything in order to feel validated and secure?