Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Voice of Control

I don't know about you, but the unknown makes me nervous. The "what-ifs" of living in our own skin can accumulate faster than dust in the desert. I spent a good deal of my life trying to insure that things were going the direction I wanted them to go, sometimes forcing events (not to mention people I love) into premature conclusions or decisions. Even when I experienced outcomes I simply did not want, I still insisted on maintaining control over things.

At some point I grew weary of it all. I recognized that my need for control was my own psychosis. It came from personal experience (history), cultural and gender bias, our societal requirements. I also, at some point along the way, realized those things change like the ocean's tide. The image that comes to mind is a big doll house where a child can place everything in just the exact place they want it, being assured that once placed it will not change. But change, like the tides, the seasons, aging, and a thousand other things that I am sure you can think of, is simply part of life. I don't like the word "inevitable" because it makes change seem ominous. Change is simply fact; it is meant to be held gently, much as a tree holds a leaf throughout the seasons. When the leaf has lived out its purpose on the tree, it falls. Nature simply knows. Control is a senseless illusion of humans.

The downside of control is that we, in our efforts to stay safe and static, leave everyone and everything out of our life. We shortchange the wisdom of another, especially our children. We never really get to see the man or woman we love because fear keeps us out of the inevitable change that comes with relationship. I believe that we mistake confidence for control when they are quite opposite...polar opposites in fact. A confidant person does not control, they simply are who they are without the need to make the "other" like them. There is freedom in letting go of control and instead, taking command of ourselves. Change comes. Thinking control will stop change is like thinking you can stop a train with an outstretched arm. If you want to make joy and peace life-long companions, remove the steering wheel you have stuck in the back of life. And then, enjoy the positive change it will bring.

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