I do sometimes (I used to do it a lot more, I'm loosening up). And it never really gets me anywhere. I have begun to note that the harder I push at controlling people or things, the worse it feels. My body and mind become tight, constricted, and inflexible as I try to impose outcomes that would probably be well enough left alone.
My children and my husband are often at the receiving end of my efforts to control. I think this comes from the perceived role I have taken on to make the day, and our lives in general, run along smoothly and on schedule. Do you ever find yourself barking out orders like a drill sergeant? In particular, I do this in the morning as the kids get ready for school and in the evening as it gets close to bedtime. This is good for no one. And interestingly, on the days I am not working myself up into a tizzy, everyone gets off to school and to bed just fine.
Another potential area of trouble: food. Trying to control what my kids eat. That is a tough one. (One of the very funniest essays I ever read touches so beautifully on this: Ian Frazier's "Lamentations of the Father" in the Atlantic).
So where is the better place to be? Of course, it never hurts to ground myself right there in the moment. No worries about what comes next. My infatuation with the past and future only act to unanchor me from the task at hand.
I recently found myself sorting it out this way:
control = fear of loss of control = burden to self and others
loving care = interdependence = closer trusting relationships
So, I can be a parent (or be a wife, or a friend) who acts out of a place of fearful control or out of loving care. I pick the latter. How about you?
I've noticed this process of control vs care in knitting. When I'm knitting without angst, the yarn gently unwinds from the ball and twists itself into the piece I am making. If I am in some way frustrated with my progress, I am more likely to drop a stitch or knit too tightly or botch things up some other way.
"Only in an open, nonjudgemental space can we acknowledge what we are feeling. Only in an open space where we're not all caught up in our own version of reality can we see and hear and feel who others are, which allows us to be with them and communicate with them properly." Pema Chodron