Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Giving Up Control
One of the greatest challenges most of us share is in giving up control. Most of us, (us being modern day humans) will manipulate anything we can to make things work the way we think they should. We develop attachments to having things go our way as we work out the perfect plan in our minds. We are not only attached to the "things" we want, but also to the timing and the way it will all happen. In our minds, it is perfect....the ideal orchestrated plan, and then life happens, our plans fall apart and we are left bitterly frustrated and/or disappointed.
Another area of control is over others. We'd love to have people respond the way we'd like. We'd love to control what others say and how they behave, so we would feel better. How many times have you thought "If only my, _______________(fill in the blank), would (fill in the blank)_____________, I would be happy. Or, we may say, "if they would only listen to me, their problem would be solved".
The interesting thing about control in whatever variety in comes in is that as long as we hold onto it, we will feel bound and at the mercy of some other unseen (0r seen) force, while what we are really wanting is to be free. Ironically, the tighter we hold to our plan when things don't go our way, the less empowered we feel.
So, how do we give up control? First of all, we must recognize where we are trying to manipulate or control situations, people or things in our lives. Once we see where we are attached and working very hard (without seeing results), we can begin to let go of our attachments. (you know, those things that we believe if they don't happen the way we want, we'll die or at least suffer terribly).
Once we know where we are attached, we can soften our focus allowing ourselves to be newly inspired. We can also broaden our sense of what is possible. Often times focusing on what it is we want to be feeling, or what values we would be honoring when the end result occurs, will keep us in a positive, more trusting place in the process. The bottom line of giving up control is feeling good in the process rather than waiting for "it" to occur.
So the next time you notice you are feeling tight, anxious and upset about things not going your way, relax your metaphorical grip. Breathe and reach for whatever thought will feel good in that moment. Repeat as needed. Eventually, you will learn the joy of allowing a natural unfolding and will give up control for good.