When You Lose Control

There’s only one master of the remote control in our house. He rules the TV from his throne–a cushy, brown leather chair–with the remote resting on the arm for easy access, and his feet propped on an ottoman. With remote in hand, he wields his power, choosing what we see, what we hear, and what we think about.

When Hubby has the remote, here’s what we see: sports of all varieties except soccer, sports news, action-adventure reruns, and…well, yeah, that’s about it.

When Hubby has the remote, we hear a lot of yelling. (He doesn’t know the officials can’t hear him or that teams can win without his coaching.) Even after I go to bed, I hear the voices of sportscasters in my sleep, or sounds of Hubby fighting in his dreams after watching a particularly action-packed movie.

And sometimes when Hubby has the remote, he controls what we think about…like the real news or fake news on his favorite political news station. Occasionally he watches war documentaries, and those are usually interesting to think about.

One thing you can always count on. The TV isn’t going to be tuned into the same channel for long. If we’re watching a Cardinals game, there are seven other games in seven other sports on seven other channels, and we must get score updates on them all. And commercials? That’s two minutes to flip to a movie and catch a scene. We haven’t watched a full-length commercial in our house since 1997. He skips right past the junk to get to the good stuff.

Lucky for us ladies in the house, Hubby works two weeks of evenings each month, which means we then take charge of the remote and choose the shows we want to watch. But sometimes we can’t wait two weeks, so we banish him to the basement where he can be king of the other remote control. (But we kinda miss him when he’s down there.)

The remote control matters. Whoever has the remote control has the power. That person can push a button and determine what programming fills our heads.

Like a TV remote, we all have buttons that determine what we see, what we hear, and what we think about. But too often, we’re not the one in charge of our own remote control, pushing our own buttons. Instead, we hand it to someone else–or lots of someone elses–and we let them have power over us.

This happens when we worry too much about what others think. As moms, as wives, as women…we are susceptible to letting our fear of what others think determine how we see ourselves, what we say to ourselves, and how we think about ourselves. And when that happens, we lose control.

When we worry about what others think, we may look at ourselves but see someone we don’t really recognize because we are pretending to be who we think others expect us to be. We try to be the mom who can work full-time, juggle the kids’ piano/basketball/martial arts schedules, help with the homework, prepare nutritious meals, and find time to look each child in the eyes to connect in a meaningful way…not the real mom who collapses from exhaustion at night and sometimes wonders why this is so hard when others seem to do it so well.

When we worry about what others think, we hear that voice in our head that constantly delights in pointing out where we fall short. That mom trains for a half-marathon while you perfect the art of being a couch potato, too exhausted to exercise anything but your right to remain silent. Another mom posts her kid’s reading award on Facebook while you dig through your son’s backpack and find the spelling test you forgot to help him study for. That voice in our head blasts so loudly it’s almost impossible for us to hear the 100 good things we know to be true about us.

When we worry about what others think, it determines what we think about ourselves. We’re not as good as, not good enough, maybe good for nothing. We can get so caught up in trying to fight back against these thoughts that we lose sight of who we really are and what matters most. And what matters most is not what most others might think about us.

And this is why you must take back the remote control. Whoever has the remote control has the power. When you have the remote, you can choose which buttons to push. You can surf past the horror and the drama and tune into something inspirational or a comedy to make you laugh. And when useless information threatens to bombard you, you can be like Hubby with commercials–skip the junk and get to the good stuff.

When you find yourself worrying about what others may think, change your programming. When you worry about what others will say, turn down the volume or hit mute. Or better yet, hit the little button marked off.

There’s only one master of the remote control. You.

How much does worrying about what others think affect how you see yourself, what you say to yourself, or what you think about yourself? Have you gained control over worrying about what others think? If so, how? Share in the comment section.

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6 Comments

  1. LINDA WILSON says:

    love this and it’s so true of every male in the world

  2. Sharon Bickel says:

    Identity in Christ is the only way I’ve been able to have victory over what others think. When I am abiding in Him, the control stays where it needs to be and He keeps me on the right “channel”!😊🙏🏻

  3. Sandy Slusher says:

    This is so true. I know we are all guilty of this. Learning to rely on God can help you take charge of your own remote control. God can help you feed the right info in.
    Thanks for sharing Karen. As always another great blog.

  4. A-M says:

    Love this! Brian and I were just talking about this last night… how it’s only when we are grounded in God’s love, knowing who God sees us to be, that we can truly be free from insecurities. No other human can do this for us (say the right things, fill in the holes) because only God has the power to fill us with love for ourselves. You’re right, we need to just let him have the remote. 🙂

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