Control Your Own Life

by Leon Turner
Phoenix, Arizona
©
1988

I have gained and achieved a reasonable degree of control over my own life. In times past I have allowed others to anger me by them doing or not doing according to my will, wish, want and desire.

Friends, relatives and even strangers, whose cooperation I felt I NEEDED to carry on with my life was denied to me on many occasions. I had fancied myself as a natural leader of men whose purpose in life was to lead and to guide other people on to great or greater things. What a fool I was.

As I urged some other person or group of persons to "come on, let us do this" I was often met with refusals and rebuffs. There were times when such action by others was because of indifference. There were times when the other(s) obviously did not share my vision, plan or idea. There were times when THEY had visions, plans and ideas of their own. Other times they were simply drifting through life without any special plans. It used to frustrate me that the other party did not or would not see my perfect logic. So, I used to stop whatever I was doing, wherever I was at, frustrated and dampened in spirit. I would beg, plead and otherwise expend large amounts of emotional energy trying to move other people. I met with blank stares, or

  • "I'll go when I'm good and ready,"
  • "Not now!!!" and
  • "So what? Go without me!"

There is one occasion, that I recall so vividly, when Larry H., a former friend and a high school graduate, and I agreed to go, together, to some social function that was sponsored by the church. Larry said he had to wash his car first, it would only take a few minutes and then we would go. I agreed to wait until he was finished washing his car. I had thus committed myself to waiting for him until he was finished. I kept urging him onward. He kept laughing at me, unhurried, washing that damned car and saying, "Just one more minute." He dragged it on and on. I was getting frustrated because I had promised to wait, Larry would not hurry up and I didn't recognize what Larry was doing. He was controlling ME, taking advantage of my honorable intent to amuse himself with my torment. I gave him power over me.

Looking back I now know that I was wrong to react as I did. While Larry openly defied me, I was not of a mind to be as offensive and as obnoxious to him as he was to me. I was not aggressive, ambitious or independent enough for my own good. I see now that my course of action should have been different. Instead of what I did, inconvenience myself and get angry about it, I should have waived, said "Good bye, Larry" and driven off. However, I erroneously thought it was in my own best interests to kiss his butt, be timid, subservient and wait for him, as if I owed HIM something. I wanted to please Larry and make him happy and make him like me. In retrospect I agree that it was a stupid idea. This is the same Larry to whom I had lent my almost new camping tent, and he brought it back with some new holes in it, which he never mentioned, nor did he ever offer to compensate me in any way.

One of my major faults is my practice of judging others by the standards that I had set for myself. In truth, most people are not like me. I figure that after I have committed myself to do something or to be somewhere to do something, then it is incumbent upon me to be there prepared to perform as promised. I feel I should make every reasonable effort to comply with my self-made commitments. Even if it costs me some additional time, effort or money. If I feel others are counting on me to do what I have agreed to do then I should make a truly honest effort. I should make every reasonable effort to do what I said I would do. Also, I fully expect others to be honest, dedicated and true to THEIR word, agreements and commitments.

As you may have guessed I get disappointed a lot. But I have changed a lot, just recently. I am now 48 1/2 years old. I have read The Handbook of Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes, Jr. and I have implemented many of the concepts put forth in that book into activity in my life. Doing so has made a lot of things in my life a lot easier for me. For example: understanding the difference between an obsession and a preference, and how each affects me.

In the old days if I saw someone coming up to a door I was at I would hold the door open and consider that I was committed to hold it open until the intended person had passed through. That is no longer true. If someone is holding the door for me I speed up and say "thank you" as I pass through. If I stop to talk to someone I acknowledge the gesture and state that "I'm going to be awhile." But I always acknowledge the gesture, to give it value. Also, if it is I who am holding the door and the intended person stops to tie a shoelace, talk with someone or whatever else, I no longer feel an obligation to stand there and wait. I simply let go of the door and go on my way, without any feelings of guilt or betrayal. More than once, when I have held a door open for someone and they pass through without the common courtesy "thank you," I have smiled and said, "you're welcome," just the same.

If I tell my wife and children I'm going downtown, or somewhere else and they are invited to go with me, but they dawdle or act in a noncommittal manner, I go on without them.

If I am doing something for someone else, anyone else, and it's a distraction from whatever I'm doing at the time, I may ask or say, "Time to go. Are you ready?" Please to understand that I am not talking about a spur of the moment thing (usually), but a planned and announced event for which sufficient time has been allotted to prepare to go. If they aren't ready or not even working on getting ready, if there is a benefit for ME to go, then I'M GONE! If it is something that has no benefit for me to go, then I resume or continue with whatever I was otherwise doing.

No more do I get angry and frustrated simply because someone refuses to ALLOW me to do THEM a favor. I figure if it's NOT important to THEM then why should it be important to ME? The answer is: it isn't.

I understand priorities and time management. Some things or events are more important than others to some people. We all have just 24 hours in a day during which to accomplish those things that we have decided to accomplish. There is no way that you, or anyone else, can purchase more time if you need it. Likewise there is no way you can sell to another any extra you may have accumulated through proper personal time management. Each person must decide what is the best use of his/her very own 24 hours each day. You shouldn't control or direct the time of another without their permission, and you should not allow another to control and direct your time, unless YOU recognize it to be in YOUR best interest. That's like going to work for another. Your employer can't do everything himself so he "rents" you for a period of time. You agree that your time has a value, so you exchange it for money.

I have known people who are so organized that they know what they are going to be doing 1135 days from today at 4 PM. Also, I have known people who have no idea what they are going to be doing in the time it takes you to count from 1 to 10. Mismanagement and non-management of time is rampant in this world. I do allow a lot of slack to other people, but I no longer leave myself open to servant status. If there is a good, logical reason for a delay, then I have no problem with that, but if the delay is for viewing that last ten minutes of a TV show rerun that has already been viewed several times; or to sleep in another 10 minutes; or to play just one more video game? NO!

If I put myself out as a favor to others and it is not appreciated with a simple "thank you," or an "I owe you one," I can accept that. Gratitude is pleasing, but I can live without it. However, a callused or disrespectful disregard is like a slap in the face. If I say, "Hey. I waited for you," only to be told, "Well- you should have gone on without me," or "I didn't ask you to wait." THAT is a slap in the face. THAT is a source of irritation, to me.

If I'm going downtown, or to the store at 10:20 and I invite others to go with me, usually the family, I might wait until 10:25 for a just cause, but then I'm gone. I may cancel the trip entirely if I didn't want to go in the first place, because I have other things I want to do for ME. Likewise it isn't a good plan to say, "Let's go, now," just to demonstrate your power over others. Don't expect people to "jump" just because you say, "Frog."

If you become a doormat for some people you will never get any appreciation from them. Rather than a "thank you," you may hear something like, "Hey! Doormat! Turn over! That side's dirty!" Once you know there are better things in life, why would a 'normal' person continue to be a doormat for anyone else? Being a doormat is environmental, social and a mental attitude. Many people just don't know they don't have to kowtow or suck up to someone else to get by in life.

NOW - I see I was in a TRAP of my own creation. I designed my TRAP. I built the bloody thing. I moved into it and lived there of my own free will. Sadly I didn't recognize the TRAP as a TRAP for many years. Then I wasn't sure how I was going to go about getting OUT, or even if I could or should even try to extricate myself. I didn't know if I could, or even if I wanted to.

Once you recognize your trap and devise a method of escape you will become aware there are many others who are in a similar trap of their own design and construction. You may ask if the others desire to have your HELP in escaping. However, you MUST allow them to make their own decision. For you to make their decision for them is to put yourself into another trap. The choice and the effort must be theirs. You can point out the path to follow, but the others must 'run their own race'. You may advise, but the final decision is up to the other individual.

One essence of the TRAP is to submit your will to the will, wish, whim and desires of other people. You may see it is quite easy to become, and difficult to cease to be someone else's doormat, and may very well upset the other person or persons. If that's true, then THAT is a condition you must accept. It's a price that must be paid. To extricate yourself from this TRAP you must accept there aren't too many people out there willing to help you gain your freedom. There are many who do NOT want you to get out.

First there are those who USE you and want to continue to USE you. There are those who don't care one way or the other, but don't want to experience the hassle THEY might receive from YOUR USER(s).

There are other doormats out there who don't want you to improve yourself and your lot in life, and thus prove THEY also need to elevate themselves. Many people prefer to accept their 'lot in life', rather than go to the trouble of working their way up and out.

At first you may encounter the resistance of those who are using you. There may be anger, hostility and tons of guilt. Guilt, intimidation and fear are great and tremendous forces that are used to control others. Does any of the following sound familiar?

  • "What is the matter? Not good enough for you anymore?"
  • "Are you mad at me?"
  • "Am I too rough or demanding?"

These questions are usually presented in a loud, terse, gruff voice that is intended to intimidate you and put YOU on the defensive. You are supposed to be shocked, taken aback, back off and kowtow to the other. These are WEAPONS, terrible weapons. They don't destroy the body, like a gun or a bomb. Instead they destroy the will and they control the minds of others. This is wickedness at its worst. These WEAPONS are designed and intended to instill in you a deep sense of guilt for even WANTING to break out of your subservient TRAP and improve yourself and your position in this lifetime and in eternity.

  • "HOW DARE YOU EVEN DARE TO RISE OUT OF YOUR LOWLY SUBSERVIENT POSITION!"
  • "Haven't I treated you well? (Like a brother? Like a son? Like a sister?)"
  • "If you don't do what I want, I won't be your friend anymore."
  • "Damnit!! I've given you the best years of my life!"
  • "You'll lose your pension."
  • "You'll have to move."
  • "You'll never get another job in THIS town! I'll see to that!"
  • "I'll tell mom!"

FEAR! Pure and simple. Fear of loss. BULLPUCKY! It is THEY who fear losing YOU and your services. If YOU break free then it's THEY who will have to find and train another doormat, another USEE, or do without (a frightening thought, to them). So THEY continue to shoot for superiority and control over you by instilling, or attempting to instill fear and guilt in YOU. CACA! YOU don't need it. So do NOT you accept any more of it. If you accept the fear and guilt, or accept it while trying to find a way out it will only wear you down. It will run down and deplete your spiritual batteries.

There is ONE way to counterattack, for which there is no known defense. Implement this one WEAPON and users will weep, wail, gnash teeth and claw at their breasts in anguish. TRUTH! Become completely honest, with yourself and with others. COMPLETE HONESTY! Think of it. Implement the big three self-improvement factors.

  1. Work hard to support yourself and your family;
  2. Don't lie. Not even to yourself;
  3. Don't try to hurt anyone. Not even yourself.

If you aren't happy with a current relationship, say so or you can just change your ways and wait for your USER to ask what the heck is going on. Then, in righteous indignation, tell them. Do NOT ask for their permission to change. Don't even tell them you're going to change. Just do it. However, I'll tell you right now, if you quit before you escape, or if you go back, the next time you try to escape will be 10 times more difficult. And if you leave and come back a second time - may God have mercy on your soul.

I once worked for the an insurance company. The general manager over the division where I worked, Don W., interviewed me one night about my goals (everyone needs short and long term goals in life). He wasn't satisfied with MY definition of exactly what my goals were. He INSISTED I accept his exact words in the order he gave them. Anything less was unacceptable to him. I didn't have the nerve to get up and walk out. If nothing else - I considered doing so was as rude as he was for disregarding my attempts to identify my goals in my own words. I refused at first to change. It was soon apparent to me that the easiest way out of that situation, to shut him up and escape without a traumatic encounter was to outwardly agree with him. This I did. I felt like a whipped dog, defeated, deflated and beaten. At least I was out without showing the anger due the man. "Yeah, Don. I agree. Your words are better than mine." He grinned like an opossum eating watermelon. He had WON the fight. That was the night I stopped working for that company. I'm sure he thought of me as "a weak sister" for buckling under. Even though I quit that night, I continued for a week or so until I was able to secure another position with another company. Then I had a difficult time getting my final money out of them. I encountered Don the couple of times when I went to their office to ask for my money. He just smiled and said, "We're working on it." Finally I went to the Utah State Labor Commission and filed a complaint. Funny how after three weeks of promises just one word from the State and they shot me out a check in just a couple of days.

I know how some people and organizations are vehemently opposed to government agencies that control business, but I must admit that in this case it sure was a boon to me. The State agency had a power and clout I lacked. I couldn't force Don or the insurance company to honor their obligations.

I'm not talking about seeking advice, evaluating it and then making your own decisions. Why, then, am I writing this? Because I see a TRAP for what it is, AND I see a way out. The TRAP keeps us in a lowly position and confuses our 'vision' of our intended place in that Great Eternal Plan.

Service without servitude. If you Love with a full heart you will want to serve your fellow man and all other beings in the Universe, and IF they Love you too, the others will accept your service without demanding servitude. If they truly Love, they will neither expect nor want you to be in a subservient, sycophantic position.

It's a 2-way street. Everyone is expert in some field. When you provide "service" to others the time will come when you will be in need of their services, and at that time those services should be given as freely as yours were accepted. It's like money in the bank.

It's written in the Bible, something to the effect that "what ye have done unto your fellow man ye have done unto me, saith the Lord." Also, what about, "Inasmuch as ye have done these thing unto one of the least of these, thy brethren, ye have done it unto me." Good, bad or neutral, whatever you do to anyone is accepted by God. Think about that one. The whole purpose here is the presentation of another way to tell you to be honest in your dealings with others.

  • Don't lie;
  • Don't cheat;
  • Don't try to hurt anyone.

There is one way out of the TRAP. FIRST! LOVE YOURSELF! There is nothing wrong with self-interest. LOVE YOURSELF! Also Love your fellow man and Love God. Take hold of your life and don't be intimidated by anyone who tries to make you feel guilty; nor anyone who offers you a way out of your fear by placing yourself in a position of servitude to THEM.

Such is a TRAP! You are entitled to and should feel and even express anger, at yourself for being IN the trap. Angry enough to want out and be willing to work toward that end. You will feel frustrated because YOUR needs are not being met. Not physical. Not mental. Not emotional. You will always have a feeling of inadequacy so long as you allow yourself to remain in that TRAP.

Recognize it as a self-made trap and get a hold of your own bootstraps and lift yourself out. Like the slaves in America, after the great Civil War.

"Where'll we go?"

"What'll we do for money?"

Moot questions! If you are unhappy, angry or frustrated, then it's time for a change. It cannot get worse, it can only get better. Sure, there's a very good chance you will be inconvenienced and even frightened with your newfound freedom. It may take some time to work up to the point where you have those material effects and attractions that came with your TRAP. You may never get them on your own. It's usually hard to be a "grown up, I have to make my own decisions and be responsible human being," person, especially at first. It's like exercise. No pain - no gain.

After you get out of your TRAP, you'll acquire one of three basic attitudes.

  1. Accept it without fanfare or much recognition. Kind of a dull acceptance.
  2. You may be bitter and desire to subjugate others as you were subjugated.
  3. Become compassionate, understanding and Loving, and thus help others as they come out of the shadows of their servitude and into the Light of truth, honesty, freedom and justice. No man has the right to OWN another human being.

There was a time when I would stop whatever I was doing to JUMP THROUGH A HOOP for someone else. I used to feel hurt, rejected, angry, frustrated when others would not ALLOW me to serve THEM and be 'their flunky'. WHY? Why beg to be allowed to be cannon fodder, or a doormat for someone who has no appreciation for such a sacrifice. If there is no return of value, including simple appreciation, why do it?

REMEMBER this: ANYONE who demands, commands or even suggests that you remain IN your trap of subservience and servitude is NOT your friend.

I met a young woman a few years ago who was totally dominated by her husband and children. She traded her slave status for mere creature comforts. Finally she went to court and got a court order prohibiting her husband from so much as talking to her. She was unable to provide for herself, so she reverted to the complete control of her husband who had vowed to have her in a mental institution within 12 months. Her husband chose the clothes she would wear that day and wouldn't allow her to have her own friends, or a life of her own. Her children followed the example of her husband in their relationship with her. When she went to the store for milk or food he would physically inspect her panties, when she returned, to make sure she had not had sex while she was out of the house. The woman was a slave and was free, then voluntarily returned to slave status. I suspect she won't survive, unless she totally submits to the will of her deranged husband.

When I worked at Desert Foothills Junior High School I encountered many youths with twisted values. That's where I learned it's not right or good to protect others from their own folly. I decided if I were to discover some person on the roof, threatening to jump head first onto a concrete sidewalk, I had no obligation to rush to the roof and wrestle that person to the ground (or to the roof) and drag them to safety. I felt any obligation would be limited to trying to explain to the person that leaping head first onto a concrete sidewalk could, injure, maim or kill him/her. Then I would need to tell those who might be landed on to avoid the area to prevent unnecessary injury to themselves. If those on the ground decided to disregard my warnings, and the one on the roof should choose to disregard my warnings, then they should be allowed to make their own decisions, and reap the rewards or suffer the penalties.

Many millions of years ago spirit beings came to earth, became involved in three dimensional, earth plane experience and existence. The ultimate purpose was to gain wisdom and knowledge through those experiences. It was the physical pleasures, sensations and other mind perversions that captivated them and have held us all here, captive and prisoner for all these millions of years.

Physical sensations and experiences, in and of themselves, are good, desirable and even necessary. They are a human condition and as humans we need to understand how to encounter, experience and use them for our own benefit. For the sensations of sex, food, drink, drugs, whatever else to be the sole purpose for living is wrong. That is another TRAP. To understand them, experience them, savor them and gain from them is good, proper and acceptable to the human condition. We do not have these desires for no good reason. They serve a purpose and they are nothing to be ashamed of, as many religious leaders would have us believe. It's just that you are not supposed to acquire YOUR pleasures at the expense of others anymore than others are entitled to gain THEIR pleasures at YOUR expense.

The individual condition is a 'micro-trap'. The second, the larger, is a 'macro-trap'. You should determine to extricate yourself from the 'micro-trap' first. Become your own person. Know your value. Know who you are, where you are from, why you're here and where you're supposed to be going. Learn principles and ideas from that to learn how to extricate yourself from the larger, more imposing trap. Then you will be well on the way to getting yourself off this planet, out of this 'macro-trap' and back into the spiritual realms where you belong.

The whole purpose for being on this planet is to gain physical, third dimensional concepts and experiences. But no one else can pull you out of it. Others may show you the way - if you'll allow them to. However, only YOU can tread the pathway for YOU. Others may coach you, but YOU must run the race yourself.

I remember how my paternal grandmother on my father's side kept repeating, "In all my life I have only believed in Jesus Christ and your father (Dick Turner)." Also, "I believe all you have to do is believe in Jesus Christ and you'll go to heaven." She honestly believed there was nothing she could do in this life that wouldn't be forgiven by Jesus, and that thereafter she wouldn't have to compensate in any way. That was her conviction, she would not be swayed from it.

As a child of God, as a brother or sister, we invite you to come and join us in the Light

I close now in Peace and Love,

Leon

As a postscript, here is an E-mail I sent to a friend on August 17, 1998:

Marty:

I wrote a short article in 1988, actually I revised it in 1988. It is entitled CONTROL YOUR OWN LIFE. It covers a lot of what we talked about last night. In most cases, people who have read this found themselves on nearly every page and did what I did. Often to the dismay of their "owners." I am bringing a copy into work tonight, for you. I don't need it back and you can copy it, distribute it, or do whatever you want with it. Including adding your own footnotes before passing it on. Whatever you want to do.

There are some things anyone has to do before they make changes in their life:

  1. Recognize that either: they are not happy as they are, where they are or something is not right;
  2. Accept that they WANT to change;
  3. Formulate a plan;
  4. Execute that plan and stick with it.

Surprising how many people aren't happy with some or all of their interpersonal relationships but have no idea just, exactly what it is that's wrong, and how to go about effectively changing those relationships to their advantage, or at least NOT to their DISadvantage. Either that or terminating them, or the relationship. Depending.

My wife and I used to fight a lot. One day I announced that it was no longer worth it to me to fight with anyone. It took a while, and some frustration on my part and confusion on her part. A lot of other people seemed confused also, but I was taking charge of my own life and lots of people weren't used to that.

Two of my most used phrases are:

"I don't want to. Leon is NOT going to do that."

 and

"You do whatever you want to. Leon is going THAT way."

If you have not done this, or not too often, it is like ice skating. Spooky as hell in the beginning, but after a while it becomes natural and flows like maple syrup on pancakes. You get good at it. The best way to win a war is not to fight it.

I was a partner in a family business in California. Lockheed Aircraft called us one day and laid down an ultimatum. My father and brother packed up all their blueprints, and everything that belonged to Lockheed and gave THEM a call. Dad said, "It's all boxed up, inventoried, and ready to go. Send over a truck and we'll load it on for you." They never picked up the boxes, but two months later they called back with an urgent job and said, "... on your terms, Mr. Turner."

Moral:

As long as YOU think you need THEM, they have you by the balls.

And as Richard Nixon once said, "When you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."

I have closed credit card accounts and canceled insurance policies and terminated other business relationships because it was no longer worth it to me to put up with their BS. Sure, it was inconvenient for me, temporarily, but there was no way Leon was going to let another dictate unacceptable terms to Leon. It finally got to a point where the value to me was far outweighed by the burden of the conditions I would have to accept. As Mr. Spock often said, "There are always alternatives." You just have to find them.

Only you can decide what is a necessity and what is a mere convenience. Just remember: YOU are the only person in all of existence that YOU cannot live without. All others are a mere convenience at some level of intensity or another.

If you think I am wrong feel free to say so.

Caio

Leon

Three Basic Rules for Life:

  1. Work hard to support yourself and your family;
  2. Don't lie, not even to yourself;
  3. Never TRY to hurt anyone, not even yourself.

Three Basic Rules for Interpersonal Relationships:

  1. You don't screw with me and I won't screw with you;
  2. I won't screw first;
  3. I only screw once

Three Basic Tests Before Using Your Tongue:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it necessary?
  3. Is it kind?

Note from Chet: If you liked Mr. Turner's article on how to control your life, you'll also want to click here to read his fascinating discourse on "Healing Hands." 





Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.