By nature, I don't think I'm a controlling person. I lean more towards Type A than Type B personality (especially when it comes to my business!) but I try to go with the flow. I love spontaneity and I am ok with change. I know that I learned this from moving around so much when I was younger and constantly being faced with change, and I'm grateful for it! I've realized that I cannot control everything or practically anything - even down to my schedule, as much as I'd like to sometimes.
But a funny thing happens when I spend a lot of time on a project. I begin to take ownership of it, which is good. I make the project my 'baby' and focus a lot of my energies on it for awhile, which is good. However, I've realized that when I get to that point, I start to tighten my grip around the project like it's my own. Like I have control over it. And heaven forbid anyone else suggest anything different or try to take it from me. And that, THAT is a bad thing.
It's honestly easy to justify this kind of behavior, for all of us. It's my project. I spent time on it. I need to make sure it's right, so nobody else can touch it! But when I get so deep into trying to control the thing that I've made, two things happen:
1) I forget that it was never mine in the first place. Sure, maybe I came up with the idea or started working on it, but the idea had to come from somewhere. Maybe I pieced together a lot of little things I've seen over the weeks/months/years. Maybe I heard something that sparked my thought. And ultimately, I know it was something that came from God in the first place.
2) I forget that people who love me are trying to help me. I was so guilty of this - and still am sometimes - at the very beginning of my photography career. If Nathan even hinted that the latest picture I'd taken wasn't my best work, I became angry very quickly. One night, after getting some constructive criticism from him and not taking it well, I looked back over my work. And I found out that he was right. So I took what he said, and I got better. Obviously, I still have to filter feedback because sometimes it really does come down to personal preference. But if anyone is willing to be honest with me in a loving way, why shouldn't I use that opportunity to improve myself, instead of getting mad?
The other day, I had put my heart & soul into a project, and I had to suddenly and completely change course. As soon as I started getting mad, though, I checked myself. Why was I even mad? Isn't it possible that someone else could be helping instead of hurting? And - as weird as this may sound to you! - I envisioned just letting go. Letting go of this project as something that I control. Letting go of any feelings I have that will keep me from moving forward and getting better.
In the end, control is something I've never had. I can pretend I have it, but ANYTHING can happen. And the best thing I can do for myself and those around me is to do my best work, to cherish the things I do have and the ideas that do come to mind, and most of all, to hold them with a loose and open hand.
Happy Sunday everyone!