I am… a control freak. Okay, maybe not a freak, but I do like control. A lot. Who doesn’t? Control, or at least the illusion of control, makes me feel safe (or so my critter mind believes).
Yet, in its very aura of safety, I am most unsafe. For in the illusion of control, I give myself up to the notion that I can predict and direct the outcome of anything/everything.
Ha! I can’t control nor direct the outcome of the world around me. Heck, I can’t really direct the outcome of my efforts to create. All I can engage in is the creative process — and when I let what appears, appear, I give up the need to control what happens as I become part of its happening.
Take for example a gift I gave my beloved several years ago. We were living in different cities and for Valentine’s Day, I gifted him 14 Days of a Love Poem a Day.
It was a gift which meant… he got to receive it and respond to it in whatever way best fit him.
But that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted him to respond the way I wanted him to respond, not the way that was comfortable/natural for him. My expectations of an outcome lead to a pretty major disagreement. Fortunately, we moved through that disagreement and I moved past my expectations. The 14 days of a poem a day lead to an entire year of a love poem a day, and in that process my understanding of love and its capacity to change my world and the world around me shifted. I fell in love with the joy of writing a love poem a day and let go of the expectations of what the process would achieve. And that shifted everything between my beloved and me.
When I shift, everything shifts.
As I let go of my expected/desired outcomes, the pressure of ‘what I was doing to create’ a feeling/emotion/environment/response from him flew out the window. We both became immersed in the journey of understanding one another and letting go of expectations of the other. In letting go of the need to control the outcome, love deepened, our experience of one another expanded, and harmony abounded.
Which leads me to the conclusion, control is not all it’s cracked up to be.
When I am busy trying to control people, things, experiences, I am busy avoiding the experience of people, things, experiences. And in my avoidance, fear deepens, not lessens because — Avoidance strengthens fear.
In my fear, I struggle to wrestle the future, the moment, and the past into something I can predict, manage and control.
In my fear, I struggle to wrestle people, things and experiences into people, things and experiences i can control and manage.
In my open-hearted embrace of surrendering behaviours that limit my acceptance of people, things and experiences, the past is filled with love, the present with joy and the future with the anticipation of the miracles that can happen when I release my hold on wanting to see or predict the future.
In opening up to being out of control in the here and now, I fall with grace into Love, living joyfully in the rapture of now where the future is yet to come.
When I was younger, like 30’s, I was a control freak. But I think I felt I had to be. I was raising 2 boys, had a not super fabulous (ex) husband and control was the only thing I had. I enjoy life much more now that I have let go of most of that need for control. I say most…
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Control is just a word.
If we empower it with greater status, imaginary powers and give it authority over us – then we give in to an illusion. In the end we are all forced to realize we control very little of anything.
Viktor Frankl said it best: “I get to control how I react to what is happening to me”
Beyond that, we are all without power to control much. Which is not a placebo for decision making, planning and evaluating outcomes – we all need to do all of those, but control over anything or anyone is a bad illusion at best.
Have a happy control-free day,
P.S.: the best chance to get the response we want from people who matter is to tell them what we want from them – and then to cross our fingers, close our eyes and hope the result is what we wished for. Even then, and surprisingly, we often get something both different and far-better than we asked or wished for …
Beautiful. Reblogging to my sister site Timeless Wisdoms
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I think being in control is what most people like although I am a pretty easy going person taking life as it happens