Category Archives: social media


Control. That is such a small word but one that appears to be running both our nation and the world today. Maybe it always has. Okay it always has. Control runs the world but it appears to be control with no options, no compromise. Instant media seems to make it easier to see our irrational need for control while feeling that we have no control at all. We see and hear about it daily in our instant communication. I have no control, I need control, I will take that control at all cost This is not a thesis on the latest shootings or on congress verses the president. It is a dialog hopefully on the word control.

According to the free online dictionary, the first one to come up in google, the word control means : to exercise authority or dominating influence over others. To hold in restraint. This morning I was watching a segment on a news show talking about equality. One of the guests said that “having to dominate or be in control is both dehumanizing and restricting”. I am saying that control is “ The new American Way”. When we lose control in jobs, security and home life we look outside for ways to regain that control. We grab it wherever we can and then we hold on. No letting go. No compromise. No give and take. My way or the highway.

My husband and I have recently had an issue with a group who appear to practice the above. By being in control, dominating others rights, the group must be feeling some power. That need for power must come from their feeling of a lack of control in their lives. That is sad. Grown men who work very hard to capture and maintain control, dominate, exercise their perceived authority over others. It makes me ask what has happened in their lives to feel they need to control others. It also makes me wonder what they think they get out of that perceived authority and control.

Recently we all watched a scenario about a man who kidnapped and held three young women hostage for years. He told the authorities that they were a family, a happy family. The girls told a different story. When he was locked up like he had locked them up, he could not handle it and took his own life. When he lost control he lost. It was either/or. The girls, actually women now, appear to be doing well. They have taken back their own control and are moving on with their lives. It is often said that men have to win to be loved and women have to lose to be loved. I think that in this current society, it is all about control and winning with both sexes, all races, political parties and world governments. I have to win! There is no compromise, no give and take, no allowing for a win/win situation.

So why am I writing about this? Mostly because I find it difficult to continue to watch our society’s need to win at all costs. The NCAA talks about sportsmanship and fair play but it is obvious that that does not often happen in the actual sporting event. Attorneys take and try cases to win, not to serve justice. Our current congress cannot get anything done because they all have to always win. Couples I see want to win. Everyone wants to control the outcome of their little scrap of the universe. I do not think that we can sustain in a world where there is no compromise. No sportsmanship and fair play. No give and take. I am asking you to look at the ways you may feel you need control and to see if that is really true. Is winning all that important? Can’t compromise work for us? Is always winning worth not only our soul but our well being right now? What if we practice exercising less authority, give up some of that dominating influence we seem to need over others? What if we stop being scared of not always winning and allow others to also win even if it is only a partial win? When do we become humans again and move towards letting go of Control?


I am not a big fan of social media and seldom get online but since I have been doing this blog I have found the need to look from time to time. I noticed that several people are listing things they are thankful for due to the upcoming holiday. I thought that was a good topic for this blog so here goes.

I see people in my practice who are so caught up in the drama of their lives that they seldom take the time to be thankful for what they have. Since this is the start of the week before Thanksgiving I will start each session with a request from my patients to name at least one thing they are thankful for. I plan to keep a tally of positives discussed in times of troubles. Have we become a nation of negativity or do we ever stop to think of the things that are good in our lives.

As I talk to people at church, in my office, at meetings or in social situations I almost always hear the negatives about living in this time of great stress and uncertainty. I see patients who worry about things they have no control over instead of spending that time making their lives better. My favorite tool is the Serenity Prayer. Helping others to see that they cannot control others even though they work so hard at doing so. I see more adults and children who take no responsibility for their behaviors but blame others for their unhappiness. When I work with individuals who feel they need that control we discuss the fact that no matter how hard we try we cannot control the thoughts, feelings or actions of others. We can only control ourselves and the way we think, act and feel. What energy we waste when we attempt to control the world around us. When we work so hard to alleviate the feelings of anxiety by attempting to control the world around us we lose a part of ourselves and all of the potential healthy relationships around us.

The final line of the Serenity Prayer is “the wisdom to know the difference”. That is a tough thing to learn. Control can seem so powerful but is it really? When we let go of that perceived power and just focus on our own well being then we start to grow. When we learn to know the difference between controlling others through anger, jealousy and hatred and start to care for ourselves and our anxious thoughts we become more serene and can be thankful that we feel less stressed. Then we can grow.

I am thankful that after years of trying to control others I learned to center my focus on me. I am continually learning that anger, jealousy and hatred does nothing but make me unhealthy both in mind and body. I am thankful for my husband who is also learning to let go and learn that he can only manage himself and his thoughts, actions and feelings. I am thankful that we can work together to create a life where we discuss then let go. Other peoples behaviors do filter into our lives but we have learned to let those behaviors be the responsibility of the people who own them. When and if they are ready to work on their control, we hope that they seek professional help. We can not carry their burdens. They must do that themselves.

I would like to list some things I am thankful for. I am thankful for my wonderful husband of almost 31 years. We have had our ups and downs over the past three decades but our love and commitment to each other has grown because of them. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to give birth to and raise two children. They are grown now and in charge of their own destiny. I pray daily that they make good choices. I am thankful for a granddaughter and the ten wonderful years I had with her. I hope that she learns to be her own person someday. I am thankful that I had parents that were active in our lives, two brothers who were once protectors of me, a nephew and niece who are growing up to learn that the family anxiety gene can be managed. I am thankful that my in law’s accepted me and my children into their family. I hope that they too can continue to work on issues they have to confront.

I am thankful for my church family. When my husband and I were searching for a church family we walked into a church that immediately became our family. We love and cherish all of you. Thank you for being there these past few years

I am thankful for the chance to work with people who want to make changes in their lives and allow me to help them by education and a listening ear. I have had the privilege to work with some great people over the course of my career. I am thankful that I have the skills and knowledge to help others sort out their issues and become stronger.

As we approach the day when our nation celebrates the things that make this nation great, please take the time to be thankful. Most of all be thankful for choices. Not only choices of freedom but small choices in your daily life, choices that will help you be a better person, choices that will help you to take responsibility for you.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and I will see you here in two week.