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Control Is An Illusion, Especially During The Holidays!
Written By: Mark Smith


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(Written 12-22-11 2am) As I sit trapped on an airplane where I've been packed in like a very unhappy sardine for the past 3.50 hours, stuck in a Denver snowstorm, it strikes me that this might be the perfect opportunity to expound on the issue of control, or rather the loss thereof. You never know what curve balls the universe has for you. Those of us who grew up with the all too ever present anxiety/terror filled sensation of rarely having enough safety, consistence, provision or control fear being out of control more than anything. Losing your keys when you do or die have to be somewhere can trigger a near panic attack for us fear of being out of control freaks. It is healthy, proactive and faith building to dream huge dreams, attack goals with a vengeance and a discipline that can't help but produce results. All that positive energy doesn't insure that bad things will not still befall you from time to time.

We have de-iced twice now and our apologetic captain swears that we are next in line for a take off. After keeping us trapped for hours they informed us that they were required by law to feed us. I was starving! Thoughts of roast beef sandwiches danced in my head. We were issued a single granola bar instead. Snacks were available for purchase but by the time they got to us all the salads and sandwiches were gone. So I feasted on a 3am dinner of cheese curds, Chex mix and trail mix. It was pretty good really. In spite of the baby screaming bloody murder, the long line for the lavatory, the body odor and the hunger there was sort of a party atmosphere on the plane.

People were hanging out in the gallery chatting and pretending their water glasses were cocktails. Giving yourself over to the process of being out of control can actually be fun!

At times you just need to graciously defer your efforts for any control into a playful, patient, humorous rolling with the circumstances attitude that just looks for opportunities to learn whatever you can along the way. I was on fire with intention and goal focus in 2010 when I was in a motorcycle accident in March that set my personal goals back for months.

You can't exercise much with a broken rib. While my practice exploded in many wonderful and unexpected ways, I faced more tragedy this year with clients than I had in the previous 24 years combined. The best plans of mice and men often times come to naught. As I look forward to 2012 with the motto "Be a beast in 2012!", I understand that fate, the Universe or God, if you will, might have other humbler, more painful opportunities for growth than the long string of wonderful victories that I am envisioning. Dream of big fat roast beef sandwiches but be thankful for cheese curds if that is what the Universe has for your particular journey at that time.

So, when the parking place that you've stalked for a half an hour gets stolen at the last second by a disgustingly cool little sports car, when the checkout line at Costco winds all the way back to the ice cold little produce room, when you are stuck at a table playing a card game you don't like with people you really aren't currently fond of at 3:30am, when you have missed your P90X workout for 5 straight days due to holiday travel, when you have 10 presents to wrap in 15 minutes, when your creamed corn turns into corn gravy, just take a deep breath and know that all will be back to 'normal' come January 2nd. Let go of control and try to have as much fun as you can during these crazy, out of the routine, uncomfortable, wonderful holidays! You have so much to be thankful for. Don't let a few little bumps in the road ruin the journey for you.

Indianapolis Marriage Counseling Information

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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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