What Control Do We Truly Have?
Updated: Mar 23, 2021
In a world that can oftentimes feel a bit up-ended what control do we truly have over any of it? Things will happen. We can do our very best to attempt to control our environments, to control how those around us behave, and to micromanage every detail of our lives to gain a sense of security, but does that actually grant us the control we seek?
Lately, things have felt a bit chaotic. We are dealing with a pandemic, social unrest, and political uncertainties. In addition to this, personal tragedies have seemed to play a major role throughout 2020 ranging from failed relationships, serious illnesses, and financial strain to the loss of loved ones. Even if we ourselves haven't dealt with such things we can empathize with others who have and that in itself can leave us feeling fearful and unsure of when it will be our turn to endure such hardships.
So, how do we deal with uncertain and scary times such as these? The answer is that we must accept that the only thing any of us can count on with any sort of certainty is change. Things will change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Life is made up of challenges and these challenges bring growth. We can either hide with eyes shut tight refusing to acknowledge this fact or we can face struggle head-on knowing that even in dire circumstances we DO HAVE control over one thing: Ourselves.
We can embrace the future even in its ambiguity. We can determine how we will react to difficulties. We can control whether we will see life as the gift it is and we can choose to rely on our own sense of hard-won security in who we are and how we respond to life's struggles.
I've come to depend on meditation as a way of living in the present moment rather than dwelling on past failures and an unpredictable future. It's funny, it seems when I most need it is when it's the most difficult to accomplish, but setting aside ten minutes or more a day makes a world of difference. I focus on my breath, or the sound of rain, or the steady humming of a fan. Thoughts intrude. I acknowledge them kindly and let them go.
Meditation has helped me to center myself and to learn that any sort of control I seek over my circumstances and environment is merely an illusion. I have to take what comes and make the best of it. It doesn't at all mean that I just rest on my haunches and allow for everything to fall apart around me. I set myself up for success as best I can and I forgive myself when I mess up.
And, I choose not to worry about things I cannot control.
We're all in this boat together. I hope we can use this time to grow and change for the better even against so much adversity. Maybe this is our chance to choose the paths that best serve us. Maybe these struggles will grant us the gift of insight and lead to a brighter future. I'm hoping everything we've endured will allow for more clarity on how to move forward from a place of love and tolerance. I'm hoping we will all find healing and be made stronger by the challenges we've faced. And more than anything, I'm hoping we can put aside our worries and fears and find a place of peace within our hearts.
- Heather <3