Monday, November 1, 2010
Appreciating Limits of Your Control
I've been becoming more open minded about the well known but highly resisted truth that I don't have control over what other people do -- only myself -- what I do and how I react. Yes, for a lot of us it's something we understood early on, but though in the past I understood it on a superficial level I didn't appreciate how it's a liberating understanding. Interestingly this idea grew in my mind after hearing my supervisor saying that to a client and me discussing this same concept with another client. It's certainly one of those truths that are hard to accept and I realized I myself was acting hypercritically by not accepting it fully.
It is a relief because it makes me think about what battles I want to fight, what realistically I can expect from myself and other people -- not just in terms of work, like appreciating clients' degree of responsibility over their actions but also in relationships in my personal life. It helps in letting some things go. Maybe my client won't choose to change her eating habits that include a lot of sugar and fat and I can encourage, even go shopping with her and discussing nutritious eating habits and products. Yet she has the final choice of the diet she wants to follow. I do what I can.