image credit:Pam Ullman
I have been following a couple of blogs on the subject of “Control” and you too might be interested in checking them out. Tom Stein’s article, “No Control” initiated a heated discussion on whether we do have control over our lives, and over at Golden Zen, Harmony the author has started a series on the subject, engaging her audience to participate in, “The Art of Being in My Own Business.” Very interesting stuff, I encourage you to pay a visit and watch the wheels spin in your own mind, around this topic.
So guess what, today I am going to talk about control and its dichotomy, letting go. But first here is a joke from Groucho Marx, “Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.” You may laugh, but it’s true for a lot of people. It seems easier to allow other people to make decisions for us, so we don’t have to take responsibility for the fallout if there is any. Then when we are not happy with our lives, we can blame it on others. Ultimately we may not have full control of our lives but we can control the process of choosing. When we take control of making choices there is a feeling of freedom that we are in charge of ourselves.
The illusion of control is a source of distress for a lot of us. We think that if we do everything right then our lives will turn out how we intend it. But there are so many variables beyond our conscious control and trying to control everyone and everything in the environment is impossible and only keeps us in a constant state of stress and hyper-vigilance. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control our attitude towards what happens to us. An attitude of openness makes space to allow life to unfold as it will. After we have done everything we could, to the best of our ability under the given circumstances, then there is nothing to do but to let go and surrender. Then we can accept whatever happens as the will of the universe, maybe there are unforeseen reasons as to why the outcome of our best made plans are what they are.
We may not have control of our destiny but we can control our thoughts, so that our minds do not run away into fear and worry about that which we have no control anyway. To live in ease and harmony, one must choose to let go and trust that the highest good for all is going to unfold without trying to control how it is going to happen. We can live in the moment, enjoying the process of our endeavors and not miss out on the view by hurrying to our destination, living in worry about the outcome.