- contents - obstacles
seems to be a part of human nature for us to want to control
situations in our lives and the lives of others. After all,
we want to be helpful, to help others by making sure that
situations work out well for all involved. And sometimes it
seems to us that the only way that we can make things turn out
okay is by taking over and controlling that situation ourselves.
I see parents do
it with their kids in college: by calling their kid every
day and "checking in on them," they make their
presence--and their expectations--constantly clear. That's
supposed to "motivate" the kid. Other parents try
to give advice on every topic under the sun to their kids, fully
expecting the children to follow that advice to the letter.
This is called micromanaging, though, and it's usually more
indicative of the parent's fear of failing the other person than
it is of the kid's need for such constant input.
We simply fear
being out of control. We fear watching things and events
spiral out of control, harming us and those people we love.
We fear facing a situation in which we have no control, and we
fear situations reaching that point, so we try to "make
sure" that nothing in our lives ever gets that far.
though, comes from a lack of confidence or faith in life and in
God, whatever you perceive God to be. Life has been going on
for many, many years without our input, and it's been going along
fine. In fact, it seems clear that life has a harder time
doing its thing the more we interfere with it.
willing to let the river flow as it will--we want to make sure
that we control the amount of water that's flowing, the direction
in which it flows, and when it stops and starts flowing. If
we can do that, we can make sure that the river never will
overflow its banks, and we can be sure that no one will be hurt by
But the river's
not under our control. Our kids' lives aren't under our
control. My spouse's life isn't under my control, nor is my
neighbor's nor my father's or mother's. When I try to
control them and fail at it--as I ultimately must--I'm building
frustration and aggravation into my life as well as theirs.
It's admirable to
want to save other people pain and suffering and
aggravation. But their lives are up to them, and it's not my
responsibility to control them. I can be there to help when
I'm asked for help, but if I interfere without asking, I'm not
doing anybody any good at all.
Trying to control
life is a losing battle from the beginning. It's important
that we step back and see whether our influence (not control) may
be helpful or useful in a given situation, but if we constantly
try to make sure that everything turns out fine, we will fail time
and time again. Isn't it important to use our strength and
power in situations in which we truly do have influence (in our
jobs and relationships, for example, focused on our own actions)
rather than in ways that are doomed to be wastes of that energy?
Ask not that events should happen as you will,
let your will be that events should
happen as they do, and you shall have
When the uncontrollable things or people in our lives
are making us
miserable, it is because we allow them to do that to us.
They canít keep us on that roller coaster if we decide to get
How do you get off?
By choice, by a decision of your will, by much prayer,
and by the
power of Godís Spirit within you. It
on your part, but if you donít let God supply the
youíre not likely to be able to do it.
The sun will set without your assistance.
If you want to run the show, God will let you.
If you want to pull all
the strings, thatís up to you.
If you want to insist that what you
are doing is the way it should
be done, even when you are not
getting anywhere, go right ahead.
God will let you run yourself ragged,
if you choose to do so.
Unfortunately, you may not always be aware that
you are in Godís
way. . . . God has no need to prove to you what God can do.
|We don't want
to give the controls to someone else; we
want those reins ourselves. We want to get our way. And
we get upset when things don't work out. . . . When we
try to control someone else or events beyond the scope
of our power, we lose. When we learn to discern the
difference between what we can change and what we can't,
we usually have an easier time expressing our power in
our lives. Because we're not wasting all our energy
using our power to change things we can't, we have a
lot of energy left over to live our lives.
life is less a matter of knowledge than a question
of wisdom. It is not about mastering life, controlling it
or exerting our will over it, no matter how well intentioned
our will may be. Befriending life is more about
harmlessness than it is about control.
|The control humans have secured over nature has far outrun
their control over themselves.
overcome by force have overcome but half their foe.
tendency is to run from the painful realities or try to change them
as soon as possible. But cure without care makes us into rulers,
- contents - Daily
Meditations - abundance - acceptance
- aging - ambition
apathy - appreciation -
- art - attitude
- awakening - awareness
awe - balance - beauty
- busyness - celebration
- challenges -
change - character
- commitment - common
- comparison - compassion
- compliments - compromise
- confidence - conformity
contentment - control
discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams
earth - education -
- enlightenment - enthusiasm - envy
- exercise - experience - failure
- family - fathers
- flowers - forgiveness
- fun - gardening
- generosity - gentleness
- goals - God
- grace -
- grief - growing up
- guilt - happiness
- healing -
health - heart
- home - honesty
hospitality - humility
ideals - idleness - idolatry
- imagination - impatience - individuality
- inspiration -
introspection - intuition
jealousy - joy
- judgment - kindness
- knowledge - laughter
- laziness - leadership
learning - letting
go - life
- listening - loneliness
magic - marriage - materialism
mistakes - mistrust
- money - mystery
attitude - now -
- pain -
perfectionism - perseverance
- perspective - pessimism
- potential -
- pride - principle
- problems - prosperity
- reading - reflection
resentment - responsibility
- rest - revenge
risk - role models
- self - self-love
- serving others - shame
- simplicity - smiles
- solitude - sorrow - spirit - stress
- success - suffering - talent
- teachers - thoughts
- today - tolerance
- truth - unfulfilled
- values - vanity
- walking - war
issues - wisdom
- women - wonder - work
worry - worship - youth
spring - summer
- fall - winter
Christmas - Thanksgiving
New Year - America
- zen sayings - articles
& excerpts -
The Law of Attraction - obstacles to
- e-zine archives
- our most recent e-zine - book
and movie reviews
heart - the inner child - the past -
parenting - poetry - fame
down - Great
Thinkers - the people behind the words
|We all want control. We don't just want control over
our own lives; we want
control over everyone else's as well. It would be so much better if
else would just be like us and do what they want them to do.
"If only they would listen."
"If only they wouldn't be so mean or foolish."
We try anger, guilt, withdrawal, criticism--all methods of
control to get them
to fall in line.
You may be able to get away with controlling children until
they leave home
or for as long as you pay the bills. It's a contract: I'll
give you money if you
let me have control.
That might be okay with employees because you are in charge
paychecks. It's okay with pets because you provide the food and
It's not okay with anyone else--friends or relatives:
You can tell them what
you want, you can hope that they get the drift, but you have no control
what they do or say.
When you get angry or hurt, check whether you're wishing you
over someone. Peace of mind requires you to let go of that desire.
Choose acceptance over the illusion of control.
Let go. Choose peace.
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey
You must learn to
let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.
You have no control
over what the other person does.
You only have control over what you do.
A. J. Kitt