Control is an interesting illusion, isn’t it?
Sure, there are certain aspects of your life you can completely control, like who’s cooking dinner tonight, whether or not you get to hold the remote control, and what time you go to bed. On the other hand, most of our lives are completely outside of our control; yet, many of us still attempt to exhibit control when it doesn’t work.
Some familiar examples might include:
Sometimes, we feel if we control another person by insisting on them being a certain way, everything will get easier. In actuality, we don’t have any control over another person, and they may not even have enough control over themselves to make this change. Instead, they are living their journey, and we are ours. Each time we believe we can change someone and meet resistance, we learn how little control we really have.
We tend to feel “if only” surrounding a death, especially if it were traumatic. For example, we might say: “If only I were there for him, I could have stopped him from getting into that car and driving home drunk.” While this is true for that ‘one’ instance, it wouldn’t have stopped this person from their general actions, behaviors, and belief systems. It wouldn’t have stopped them from pursuing their journey, as freely and independently as you are yours. The truth of the matter is we don’t know how much our lives are laid out for us, whether or not death is certain on a particular date since the day we were born, or if our only job on this Earth is to enjoy, connect, and experience as much as we can during our lifetimes.
We have the ability to shape someone’s personality through love, or lack thereof. However, who they are — at a soul level — will not change. The best we can do is bring out the soul inside our children, allowing them to flourish, feel loved, and be loving; the worst we can do is hide away the soul, constantly criticizing and punishing our children for being themselves. The only control we have over our children is love. We get to control how much love they experience early on in their lives, and this will determine the quality of their introduction to this world.
e tend to think we can think or act any way we want, and that we might even be able to shift someone else’s personality to do the same. In truth, we are who we are. We have unique talents and abilities that make us special, and when we learn to embrace those, we are in sync with ourselves. Our personalities, when in alignment with our highest selves, are all very similar: loving, happy, grateful, at peace, and compassionate. When we aren’t in alignment with our highest selves, we begin to experience another version of our “personalities”, one designed to create suffering and sadness. We can tell when we’re out of alignment, because we’ll experience some variation of: anger, resentment, jealousy, frustration, anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness, or scarcity. In this state of mind, we often think we are very ‘different’ than others, and no one understands us. Again, the real choice we have is alignment. We have the ability to choose to feel aligned and redirect every time we’re not. We have the choice how we want to feel, and how connected we want to spend our lives. The more time we spend connected, the easier it is to become connected and the versions of ourselves we love so much; the reverse is also true.
You see, ‘control’ isn’t reality. In fact, tiny instances in life where you are able to demonstrate control are more misleading than anything. Don’t fall for it and build your addiction to control. The end-product of doing so is lower self, and often leads to feelings of loneliness, sadness, and depression.
Instead, choose to embrace ‘who’ you are, show curiosity and gratitude as you learn, and appreciation for all experiences in your life, for they are your lessons. Each time you catch yourself trying to control something or someone in your life, reflect back on your ‘why’, and identify the feeling of lower self that led to this desire. Remember you are beautiful, your soul shines through you, and the less you attempt to control the more you’ll enjoy your life.
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at drkareem.com on March 29, 2017.