I hope you're having a marvelous Sunday, or whichever day it is that you're reading this!
It's easy to want to control everything in our lives. I mean, it's our lives, right?
We want people to like us, we want to get that promotion, we want our families to support us, we want, we want, and we want. And when things don't go our way, when we lose that control, we don't know what to do.
With everything going on, it's easy to want to jump in and control. And It's okay to want, to desire, to demand, but we should understand that there are three things that we simply can't control, or at least shouldn't.
We can't control other's actions, beliefs, or unpredictable natural events beyond our abilities
In order to be okay with what is, we must release this need to control. We must allow everything to unfold as it is intended to.
Why we love to control
I like to imagine humans are more like dogs than we think in the sense that we are incredibly territorial over our beliefs, our feelings, and our actions. Rarely do people admit that what they did was wrong and truly mean it.
People love to control either because of insecurities derived from past abandonments or embarrassments or because of their closed-mindedness. When you hold onto the idea that only one way is the right way, only one response is the right response, then it'll be difficult to release that control.
The opposite of control is allowing. Allowing people to live their life separate from yours, allowing yourself to sleep in when you need it, allowing the world to heal, on its own and with the help of professionals who know what they're doing.
Still, it's difficult to truly let go and have an open mind toward things. So, how do we do it?
My experience with releasing control
Quickly, I will share a personal story on releasing control.
I have three roommates, but there are about seven people total who live in my apartment. Therefore, it gets messy, loud, and the dishwasher is always running because goodness, everyone is always eating or cooking.
With my new profound love for minimalism and decluttering, I find myself envious of the Youtubers who organize their pantries and living rooms and keep those spaces so tidy. Because I share a space with so many people, I can't really do that. And even if I do decide to clean, declutter, and redecorate, it's not only my space. This is why I spend most of my time in my bedroom.
In the beginning, I used to get in many petty arguments with my roommates. There was always a strange tension about this place that I wanted to call home. I hated it.
Eventually, I learned to release my need for control and learn to be appreciative of the fact that I not only get to live with my friends but have my own space to retreat back to.
I had to understand that I'm not perfect, either--I leave out many coffee mugs, wake the entire place up with my noisy coffee maker, and leave candles and lights on, all the time. I had to take down this wall, this need to be "right" and make this shared space mine and mine alone, and be aware of the fact that, just like them, I'm human, too.
One funny example of this is when I found a trash bag by the balcony. Out of irritation, I decided to leave it there until someone claimed it there's. Weeks passed, and no one grabbed it, so I stomped over and opened it, ready to get mad, when I realized...
It was mine.
Inside the trash bag was a wind-chimer that my mother had given to me as a gift. I completely forgot about it.
I believe it was at that moment when I decided I was going to release my stubbornness, and allow my apartment to be a space for life and fun, as it should be. And now that I've stepped outside my controlling bubble, I see that my roommates aren't messy--they're human.
No one shows the messy parts of their life, anyways. A home is meant to be lived in, not cleaned, constantly.
I hope my story inspired you to release some control in your life.
But, of course, here is a clear, step-by-step list of things to do t help release your need for control, and simply, be okay with what is.
How to release control
1. Does this issue apply to me?
If the answer is no, then let it go. If your friend is doing something you don't agree with, but it's not impacting you at all, then there's nothing you can do but let your friend live their life as their own.
If the issue does apply to you, then do something about it! But first, ask yourself:
2. Can you do something about it?
So, you're faced with an issue. Can you do something about it?
If the answer is yes, then do it! Confront that person, make that change, do what you have to do.
But, if the answer is no, then release it. Simply, let it go. You have nothing to worry about. There's no need to fill your mind with unnecessary stress.
An example of this would be the virus. If you're already stocked up, staying at home as often as possible, and have all sorts of hobbies in arms reach... there's nothing really you can do besides the following tip:
3. Shift your perspective
As I did with my apartment, try turning the issue around. Is there anything that you're doing wrong as well? Can you learn from this? How can you make this better?
Things are never really as bad as they seem. Try finding gratitude in this situation, and work to find what feels good in every moment.
Maybe this issue is merely a sign, a motivation to push harder, to make a change in your life, etc.
When we're faced with things we can't control, all we can do is look at the situation differently. The only thing we really have control over is ourselves.
4. Journal it out
The other day, I sat down with my journal and wrote out my fears and worries. This helped me to release, as well as look at my issues through a different lens. When they were written down, they didn't seem nearly as terrible.
Write it out now, before sending out that tweet, texting that person, etc. Sit with yourself and your thoughts and try to work it out
5. Give your control to The Universe
We forget that, in the end, we are small humans trying to change the world. There are some things that we simply cannot change, and rather than trying to control it, putting stress on our shoulders and frustration in our heads, we can give up control to a higher power.
Try sitting in prayer or meditation, and release your anxiety, fears, and worries unto whoever is listening. Regardless of who it is, they'll know what to do.
Or at least, they'll be there, listening, sending you love and comfort throughout.
6. Understand that everything will work out in the end.
Whether you believe this or not... believe it. What's the harm in doing so?
If you can make a direct change in your life, go for it. But if not, if you find yourself controlling the inevitable, remind yourself that it will all work out in the end.
Pain and change are only temporary. In fact, both are a part of life.
Use this time to find meaning out of everyday pleasures. Use your frustration as motivation and fuel to start that creative project or even exercise your body.
Remind yourself that you will be okay. And if you're not? If something horrible happens? Then you can grow from it, you can heal from it, and you can move on.
7. Let things come to you
You will achieve those goals. You will find that best friend, that spouse. You will get there, as long as you stop controlling.
While it's important to go out into the world and get things done, it's also important to sit back and receive.
If you're constantly controlling, things (including people) everything will run away from you. What you put out you will receive, so if you're pushing out fiery, frantic energy, it is what will attract to you. You may begin to notice frantic things happening to you more and more often.
Controlling things, or being stubborn, is honestly like putting blinders on your entire life.
Get into a comfy mindset, and allow things to come to you. Trust me, they will--everything good that came to me, appeared when I wasn't looking for it.
In the end, simply remember not to control what we cannot. Be okay with what is, because "what is" is your life.
I will leave you with this quote:
People say "I want peace."
If you remove I (ego),
and your want (desire),
you are left with peace.
Satya Sai Baba
How do you release control? Let me know below!