Taking Control


I was mentoring a young man recently.  He was in the middle of a LTR break up; one he had initiated.   He spoke of unsuccessfully dealing with the inevitable random negative emotions that had been cropping up.  He wasn’t sleeping well.  General malaise.

I focused our talk on identifying the things in his power to control and those he cannot.  The instability of heart and mind can be a troubling situation for any of us.

Eventually we started working to identify what he really could control.  There are not too many things in this life we truly have absolute control over.

It was finally time for three simple questions.  I asked if he was drinking a gallon of water a day.  “Uh, no.”   I asked if he was still on his low carb paleo eating regimen.  He said, “no during the last few weeks I’ve been eating crap”.  Finally, the third and final question: are you still running and lifting weights?  “Well,” in a sheepish tone of voice, “not consistently.”

My point in all this to him was how in the heck are you expecting your brain to deal with stressful situations if you’re not taking care of the things you do have 100% control over?  Any one of us can maximize the physical aspects of our environment to include how we are eating, rehydrating and exercising.  All great things the body needs to operate at peak efficiency.

We can’t always control our emotions and how we feel.  All of us will grieve a loss differently.  However, one thing seems consistent, it takes time to let it all work its way along the path its determined to take.  You can only dam the emotional waters for so long before they burst through.  I’d prefer personally to try to navigate those waters as they flow.

Getting caught in the rapids, one can become disoriented, losing confidence over every possible next move.  I’ve always found that making one good decision usually leads to the next good decision.  Confidence returns.

I’m happy to report that within a few days I received another phone call.  Gone was the despondent, feel-sorry-for-myself tone of voice.  Instead, melancholy had become upbeat and energetic.  You could hear the skip in his step.  I asked him what had changed?

He said, “I’m just taking care of my body.   I’m feeling great!”  

 He was making good choices.  And, that’s about all we can expect of ourselves when the heart and mind are in turmoil.

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