Friday, September 14, 2018

Control as illusion

Have you ever tried making a list of the things in your life that you actually control? If you haven't ever tried this, do so now, just for fun.

How long is the list? In retrospect, are there even some things you want to cross off that list as you give it more thought? Did it just get far shorter yet?

It is true that we like to think we're in control of a good deal in our lives. But think about it honestly—are you really able to control much of what happens?

When we get really honest with ourselves, we realize that about the only thing really in our control is how we respond to what happens to us. Try as we might to keep things under control, "stuff" still happens and we have to resort to Plan B, C, D or even X and Z! And for that matter, even how we respond isn't always something we control. Some of that is knee-jerk and may have been programmed into us at a very young age.

It's humbling and necessary to get past the idea that we're in control. It can also prevent a good deal of frustration, anger and resentment. Again, it's a matter of letting go of some illusions. We can learn to be more flexible and to acknowledge that we're really not in charge. We can go with the flow more often; and through it all, we can learn to be more grace-filled and accepting of others as we recognize that we're all just trying to do our best to get by.

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