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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gray

I'm unlearning control.

Some people give up carbs. Some people give up sugar. Others give up simpler things like ratchet tv or Law and Order SVU because it makes you anxious. (Just me?) Me, I'm trying to unlearn control and the feelings that encourage it. Even saying that feels liberating.

Scarcity mindset. This idea that there is not enough to go around. I recently sat in a native tribal ceremony and the woman who was leading us through this moment of spiritual cleansing said, "Never take more than you need." This hit me like a ton of bricks. I constantly take more than I actually need. I mean even in the silliest of ways. It shows up all the time. I can go to a coffee house with my laptop at 85% of its battery capacity and still plug my charger in "just in case I should need" to recharge. Other times, I've kept so much stuff that I'll never need or use just so my closet can be full. I keep a full freezer as if I'm not one person. But somewhere along the way, food must've represented some false security. I even tried to plan for everything that could possibly happen in a relationship. Wow, did that last one teach me a lesson or what? I could no more control him than I could the weather. I've called it territorial for a few years, but it's time to call a thing a thing. This need to control is rooted in a deep seated feeling of rejection and abadonment. If I could create a verbal chart...

abandonment ---> it makes me feel rejected ---> I don't like feeling rejected ----> I control as much as possible ----> I don't have to hurt ---> actually end up hurting more because this ain't living. *Reduce. recycle and repeat*

In order to get out of this cycle, I'm not actually doing anything. The cycle imploded in front of me. My previous relationship taught me that as much as I'd like to plan for perfect, imperfect humans who are also navigating their own unaddressed abandonment can't give or receive the love they were created to. So... what's helping me unlearn control? Life is busy showing me that I don't have much control at all. Initially, it felt like drowning, but now I'm learning to find pockets of peace because I don't actually have to have all the answers. I am learning that rejection is a lie that somewhere along the way I started to believe. Perhaps my father's absence in my childhood wasn't about him not wanting me or me not being good enough. Either way, when you live loved you no longer feel the need to control. And living loved ain't got nothing to do with anyone else. It starts and ends with me.

AND. One day, I want to fall in love with a free human. Someone who feels so loved by me that they are free to just be their-self. And for the first time, I want to be free to love and receive love without controlling. I promise to not take more than I need from this human and from this life because everything I have ever needed has been provided.

I imagine it'll take me a while to unlearn my false sense of safety. I am however, giving it my best. Your prayers, good vibes, encouragement and gentle reminders are welcome.

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