There is a part of me that always wants to be in control, and to know I am “right”.
Oh I just love that feeling.
Maybe love is not the right word. It’s more like validated. By my own little inner taskmistress. I give myself a gold star of rightness that is as satisfying as crossing the final item off a to-do list, or completing a circuit training at the gym. I am right, I am right, I am right. Oh yes. I am right.
But . . . is my living, breathing, tender, wild, soft animal divine soul alive, engaged and being fed?
Am I turned on and connected to my divinity?
Have I expanded? Or have I shrunk-wrapped myself?
Last semester, my freshman daughter announced to me that she was not going to live in the dorm for her sophomore year. She met a girl who was renting a house and looking for 5 other girls to join her.
I pushed back immediately. “No way! All college kids live in dorms. You love living in the dorm! You love having friends, hanging out and doing homework with people. How will you eat? Do you want to cook 3 meals a day? Are you crazy? It’s going to cost a fortune to buy furniture! This is not happening.”
I was so right, right?
I so knew better of what was right for her, because I am the mother and the mother knows.
But then, I felt it through my body.
And I did not like that way I felt.
Being ‘right’ is a head trip, not a heart trip. Being right cuts me off from my feelings, which is where my feminine lives, breathes, informs, inspires, and creates.
My connection to my daughter was shut down and I was the one who shut it down.
And then, I remembered: Agreement is control.
Whenever me, or you, or any of us are in agreement with what is going on, we are in control of the situation.
And right now, I was not in agreement. I basically shut down my ability to relate to my daughter, or learn more about her perspective, and I certainly shut down her ability to care about or listen to my point of view.
And I have been in her spot. No one has ever gotten me to do anything when they shut me down and emphatically disagreed with me. Why would I expect Maggie to be any different?
True control is not about clutching tightly to my own opinion or perspective about what is right or wrong. True control is about making room, on the inside – not just for my point of view (no matter how brilliant it seems) but also the potential and possibility that the other person has an extraordinary and brilliant point of view and perspective, as well. And that in this world, and on this earth, each of us divine-reflections-of-the-holy, can co-exist simultaneously.
My ego gets very threatened by the holy. It wants to be the one and only queen of the tiny square inch of earth it inhabits. And the thought that there might be something even bigger and more glorious than mere me, is not something I find myself able to consistently remember – especially when being someone’s mom, or someone’s boss, or someone’s coworker, or someone’s partner.
Life can easily make me forget that I am more than human. And that by choosing to be in agreement, I am choosing to disconnect from my masculine and plug into my feminine superpowers.
So, I went back to Maggie and we talked more. I told her to go for it. That I would help her and support her as she made all the arrangements.
I felt a big sigh of relief.
Why? Because I was no longer trying to force my daughter to see life through my lens.
I was willing to see through hers.
There are always two ways to win and one way to lose in any situation.
How do you lose?
Disagree with the current and direction of what is happening.
How do you win?
You can either find a way to get the other person to agree with your perspective, or you can find a way to get into agreement with their perspective.
I chose option #2.
There is no one way to be a sophomore in college. And what I want is for my daughter to have her adventure, not mine. I want to support her in her growth. I want her to gain confidence in her choices.
As women, we hit a dozen opportunities a day to choose whether we power up our ego, or power up our feminine. We think getting the outcome we want is the goal. And it is. But using our feminine brilliance to find a way to connect with both our feelings, and with the other person, is brand new territory.
Surrendering our ‘rightness’ for ‘agreement’ provides an experience of connection that will take everyone higher, rather than creating division.
At the end of August, I helped Maggie move into her house with 5 roommates. The girls are lovely. The house is near campus. One girl has a dog. They come from all over the country. This year, they are not just going to have to deal with classes and homework, but they are going to learn how to manage landlords and plumbers (both toilets broke as we were moving in!) and shopping and cooking and laundry and housekeeping. All great skills to have in life. My daughter will learn more, in this house, than she ever could have if she did it ‘my’ way.
And all I had to do was give up being right.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you:
• Where in your life do you love to be right? How does it feel?
• Where do you find yourself fighting for control?
• How could you get into agreement with something that is bugging you big time, right now?
I can’t wait to hear about your experience on this topic, and continue the conversation.
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
Founder of The School of Womanly Arts