October 22, 2013

Letting Go: Of Control...

Okay readers, I hope you have been enjoying this series on Letting Go by Tina Nies. This week, Tina helps us identify ways of letting go of control. And be sure to check out her special gift for you at the end!


For the last 3 weeks, I’ve shared mainly about tools you can use as a practice in your own life to learn to let go of things you may be holding onto including anger, hurt, shame and more especially regarding experiences in our past. Have you picked one or two to practice in your own life?

Now, how about letting go even beyond those specific things, letting go of guilt, responsibility, and worry about things that are totally beyond our control. How can we begin to make individual choices that keep us from holding onto other stuff that isn’t even ours?

Of course many of the tools I’ve shared can be used with all of the above, but when it comes to things that seem to be completely beyond our control, it can be really tough to even think about how to let it go or how to have it not dominate our thoughts and feelings.

Think about what little control we have over so many things in our life, things outside of ourselves, but things that also sometimes have a big impact on our lives.

Sometimes our lack of control comes from choices we’ve made and the consequences of those choices, good and bad. For example, our time, we don’t know how much time we’ll have on earth or with a loved one or on a job. Practicing using our time in ways that help us feel good is obviously a good idea.  But when we are feeling down or stressed, it’s easy to “waste” time, to have a “whatever” attitude about how we use our time, because we may feel like it just doesn’t matter. 

Sometimes it may seem that we don’t have much control over anything, but what we do have control over (if we can learn how) is how we react and how we feel in general. How do we do that? Practice the tools we’ve shared over the last few weeks (smile).

So, why am I motivated to write about this now?

I mentioned in part two of my letting go series that I volunteer at a local juvenile detention center and hang out with these kids each week. Most of the time, I learn very little about the specific reasons they are there. In fact, sometimes they don’t even share their name.

Since it’s an option for the youth to participate with me, it’s always different; some weeks everyone in the wing hangs with me, sometimes just two or three. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to spend more time with a couple of girls and learned a little more about them. While it didn’t surprise me since I know it’s how the “system” works, I was reminded how sometimes we truly have no control at all and just how important it is for us to build foundations within ourselves in order to feel better and make better choices where we can.

On a recent visit, I could feel it was a kind of a down day in general at the facility. Only those two girls chose to chat with me (they had pretty low energy and a bit of sadness), so I was able to talk with them about in more detail about their own situations

As they shared some details, I could really see that they have very little control over their lives, not just in the detention center, but even at their homes.  It also raised my awareness of what it means to be a teenager on probation.

These two girls I had known in earlier months, both had gone home, but were now back. Both were ordered back to the center for minor “violations” of their probation… violations that technically they did not even do, they were victims (I can’t think of a better word to use here) of situations that truly were beyond their control!

Because these girls are already labeled as “bad kids or troubled kids, they don’t even get the opportunity for resolution. Instead, they get “nope, we’re not even gonna talk about it, “you’re on the street after curfew, you violated probation.”  The “whatever” attitude can be on both sides, the police because they have to deal with another “juvie kid,” and the teen now distrusts the system even more and thinks “whatever, I’m already in trouble, what does it matter what I do next?”

Can you relate to the “whatever” attitude? Not a fun place to be, but until we begin practicing loving and letting go, we often spend a lot of time with that attitude.

So, back to the story… one young lady was on the street after the town’s teen curfew, but she was waiting for a ride from a family member who hadn’t shown up. She told the police she had been waiting a while, but it was after curfew, with no luck contacting the ride, the girl was on probation and a tether, so the police took her to the station. Still no one came to pick up this young lady, so the police called her probation officer and she was driven back to juvie on curfew violation and now waits several days for a court date to decide what to do next or hear her story.

How does that help anything? How does that help her feel better about herself so she can make better choices? 

There are so many things beyond our control and this just reminded me even more just how important it is to share ideas about self-love and letting go, because sometimes we are in situations not only beyond our control, but seemly out of control in general!

The other young lady comes from a home full of trouble, two brothers were caught stealing, her youngest brother was recently kicked in the head by their drunk step-dad and she hasn’t been doing well in school, which is a condition of probation (to have all work turned in and passing classes)… so violate that because it’s nearly impossible to study or get help at home, and she is back in juvie.

It’s beyond my control to fix all these issues, I know that and I’ve let it go. I can be motivated to do more and share more love, but I don’t hold on to it. I can’t. If I did, I’d be sad and mad about it, I might get a “whatever” attitude that why do anything since I don’t have control to fix it all.

Instead, I can feel the emotion and then let it go and choose what will make me feel better about me 
and about making a difference… so I share this story and my passion about simple practices.

When we build and have a foundation of self-love, we are less vulnerable to those types of situations that just seem crazy. We become less vulnerable to the “whatever” attitude, less vulnerable to further victimization, less vulnerable to making self-destructive choices.

These stories also remind me how important it is that these simple ideas and tools about practicing self-love, letting go, and forgiveness be available to everyone, everywhere!  Yeah, that would be a big job for just me.

So I focus most of my work on training people in fields such as counselors, mentors, teachers, etc. to incorporate these practices into their work to help their students and clients build a strong foundation. But I also want every environment, business, organization, prison, church, detention center, school, etc. to be filled with love!

Yes, I know this is beyond my control, but it’s a great dream and if each day, I share with just one person or organization, then I’ve got one more triumph to record in my daily LoveFest practice.

What a great vision:  for even police stations and court rooms to be filled with love. Sure, there are rules and when people break the rules, there are consequences. BUT what if we added in love, what if we say “Okay, the rules were broken, we love you anyway. Here is your consequence and here’s how we’ll help you not make this same choice next time." 

Or in the case of the young lady picked up after curfew, what if everyone was filled with love and the probation officer asked the police to drive the girl home instead of back to juvie? What if then on their next home visit, they acknowledge the young lady for doing her best, which was sitting and waiting for a ride in a safe place instead of walking a long distance in the dark. Then asking the family how to help them make sure that doesn’t happen again?

If they are never given or taught the love they need to build something different, how do we expect things to be different?

Maybe you’ve never been in trouble with the law, but can you think of a similar situation in your own life where you just did the best you could in circumstances totally beyond your control, yet, it just didn’t seem to matter?

Have you ever spent time in that “whatever” mentality?

I have. It wasn’t fun.

So what do we do about it?



Keep practicing… letting go, forgiving, loving… ourselves and others… and then sharing the practice.
Maybe you’re reading this article because you want to let something go and feel more love for yourself or let go of idea of having control or maybe you’re reading because you are doing similar work – either way I invite you to join and let me know how I can help you in your goals around loving and letting go.

I also have a gift for you, available through October 31.  It’s a hug you can wear, an “I love me” bracelet. It’s FREE (free s&h too)! Just visit www.40DayLoveFest.com and complete a simple form!


Tina Nies is a Certified Life Coach and Vision Board Coach.  Her passion is building and strengthening an individual’s self-love as a foundation for success. Tina empowers individuals with a foundation to develop their vision and create action strategies for success as they grow and explore their happiness.

In her simple practice self-love, Tina also focuses on raising awareness of the power of our choices. In each moment, the choices we make impact our success and determine whether or not we reach our goals in business or personal life. “Encouraging people to say yes to choices that lead them to their deepest desires and true happiness and no to choices that do not serve their best interests is extremely powerful”

Join Tina in her 40 Day LoveFest: Letting Go, a daily BlogTalkRadio show now through Nov 1 www.BlogTalkRadio.com/behappiertoday.

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