Trying to control everything is one of our modern day fantasies. Human history is a story of the progressive conquest over the forces of nature. Our race began with a powerless mammal. Since then, we have made a huge leap forward that allows us to progressively unravel the mysteries of our surroundings.
Now we live in harried times. Everything happens so fast and we can’t keep up with it. That being said, it’s not strange that we fantasize about being able to control everything. Underneath that fantasy is the desire to walk on solid ground. We want to feel like we are at the helm of our own lives.
“Attempts to overcome that duality, to tame the wayward and domesticate the riotous, to make the unknowable predictable and to enchain the free-roaming, all such things sound the death knell to love.”
The tough thing is that we don’t always realize that trying to control everything is a fantasy. It is an impossible goal. When we forget that, we behave in such a way that brings waves of anxiety. We find ourselves constantly losing control, and we feel frustrated.
Everything is in constant motion and there are hundreds of factors that are out of our control. That which is alive changes constantly. Today is one way and tomorrow will be a different way. Death is the only state of being that is absolutely certain. Life happens between uncertainties and unexpected flows.
The fantasy of control
We aren’t in an age anymore in which we can live gently. We are constantly bombarded by hundreds of stimuli. You wake up and immediately your head fills with ideas and sensations that crash into each other. You feel like there is so much to do and not enough time to do it.
Every day we experience conflicting emotions and feelings. Sometimes we even have to re-direct them without taking the time to fully understand them. We just need to function. To do that, you have to give yourself limits. You have to quickly move past the uncomfortable thoughts and emotions that get in the way of production and action.
We may not think of it this way, but we would like to control everything. That’s why when something doesn’t go as planned or we come up against an obstacle, we might get irritated. It’s a type of rebellion against a reality that goes against our goals.
In this circumstance, we usually end up sunk in a paradox. We are in control of our finances, but we can’t control our insomnia. We are able to control fatigue, but important relationships slip through our fingers. As much as we try, we will never manage to control everything.
Conscious observation and full awareness
Non-western cultures possess a truth that we frequently forget. Life isn’t lived with the mind, but with the senses. Thought is always there, interpreting reality. The mind directs our lives based on prejudices, fear, ambitions, and a long etcetera. At the same time, it often deprives us of experiencing each day skin-to-skin.
What does this have to do with the desire to control everything? What happens is that thought works in this way: it limits and apprehends everything to appropriate it and direct it in some way. Perception, feelings, and emotions work differently. They are more rebellious and chaotic, but also freer and more authentic. These are the zone that sabotages our attempts to control everything. They also allow us to experience happiness.
We often find ourselves fighting with ourselves. Our thoughts give us some content and then we try to get rid of it. We don’t try to understand it but remove it from our conscience as soon as possible. We feel, for example, a little bit of anxiety and we immediately try to push it away and make it disappear. Maybe if we adopted an attitude of acceptance and observation, we could find ourselves with a different outlook.
Learn to perceive without judging yourself or thinking too much. Just be contemplative… Don’t try to control everything. Instead allow things to flow, internally and externally. This is the path that will allow you to experience life in a more genuine way, without apprehension. A new form of comprehension emerges that doesn’t express itself as an intellectual lesson but as a life lesson. It is a higher awareness that leads you to balance.