Like the actor in our book who tries to run the whole show, my preferred life-management style is control. If you looked up “control freak” in the dictionary you might find a little picture of me. I’m better today, but I’m a long way from “live and let live”. I continue to try and control the people and events in my life because I still believe that if I do, I’ll get the life I want.

I’m learning that control in any form is spiritually deadening. Whenever I impose my will on people or events, I cut myself off from the sunlight of the spirit. An expectation is a form of control. Anytime I have an expectation I am imposing my will on reality. It matters not if my motives are good or bad. I establish an outcome I want, disregarding the outcome God wants. Not only that, but controlling other people never seems to work. “My way or the highway” turns people against me and I’m the one who ends up suffering.

Recently I’ve been working through a resentment of my parents-in-law over some financial issues with my wife’s estate. They are not acting like I expected them to. The resulting anger was like fuel. It gave me the energy to plot and plan how I would get even. This went on for a good two weeks before grace happened. Another member suggested I do a four column fourth step on my parents-in-law. Once I became willing to find my part, the resentment began to evaporate. Oh my mind still digs up the bone occasionally, but the anger is no longer clouding my judgment and my life is much more peaceful.

I often wonder how beautiful life will be when I finally let go of my old ideas, absolutely. When I can completely turn my will and life -- all expectations and all outcomes -- over to the care of my HP, there will be no need to try to control anyone or anything. I simply allow whatever happens to happen without argument or resistance. I accept in advance whatever life wants for me. Is this an extravagant promise? As long as I continue to take the actions suggested in my first week, I think not.