I believe one reason women turn acorns into catastrophes is because you have so many responsibilities. Because you are responsible, you believe you should be in control. The question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you really have control over any given situation and then act accordingly.
As a woman, you have family responsibilities, but really you only have control over yourself. You can guide, teach, and influence, but other people in your family may and will act outside of your control. This is an acorn, not a catastrophe. As a woman, you have work responsibilities, but you really only have control over your work product. You can model, encourage, and motivate, but other people at your work may and will act outside of your control. This is an acorn, not a catastrophe. It is when you think that your responsibilities should give you control, and they don’t, that you feel out of control and under stress. By learning to let go, you can reduce the amount of needless stress in your life.
At The Center, we use this guide for helping people let go of their need for control. I encourage you to memorize and incorporate into your thought life any of these statements that particularly resonate with you:
- To “let go” does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else.
- To “let go” is not to cut myself off; it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
- To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequence.
- To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
- To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.
- To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
- To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
- To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all of the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
- To “let go” is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality.
- To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.
- To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
- To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.
- To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
- To “let go” is to fear less and to love more.
Those women who have a high need for control live in a paradoxical world. If you are one of these women, you desire control in the people and world around you and experience a great deal of stress when you don’t get it. The paradox is, while you desire control over others, you are not in control of yourself. You are not in control of yourself when you allow your thought life to run amok, spewing negativity and festering with unrealistic expectations. You are not in control of yourself when you allow yourself to build up resentment, anger, and frustration. You are not in control of yourself when you view acorns as catastrophes and demand that everyone else in your life view them the same way.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 30 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.