NOTE: This is the prompt for a submission from TheCreative.Cafe:
“We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.”
Lois Lowry, The Giver
What do we control? What do we not? What do we wish we did and at what cost?
We control nothing. We think we do. We tell ourselves and others, “Oh, no worries. I’ve got this.” And it feels like such a relief because it gives false optimism to ourselves and others that everything is fine. It’s all going to work out. And we can be smart, meticulous, even OCD when making choices, decisions, plans…….we’ve got it all under control. We’ve even got contingencies should the need arise.
But the reality is that we are human, and humanity is flawed at the very least, and downright ignorant at its worst. What if someone assumes he has control over a situation but his ongoing attempts at maintaining his perceived control is detrimental to others? For example, the controlling partner, boss, parent, all who dictate events in our daily lives, can be damaging to our own psyche and emotional growth. Being controlled undermines our own ability to control our own lives. It limits independence, self-confidence. It can diminish the importance of your accomplishments.
It’s really a vicious cycle because in reality, no one has true control over anything or anyone. Certainly we can have a moment of control but it only exists in the present. Much like the simple truth that we don’t have any knowledge whatsoever of our future, which is always notably the exact moment that follows the present moment, no exceptions, we therefore cannot maintain in any way that we’ve got everything under control, or that we are confident that everything will execute as planned.
It’s a double-edged sword isn’t it? It’s comforting to feel in control but the reality is we are constantly spiraling, literally as the Earth turns on it’s axis, and we have no control whatsoever. We can’t halt time, press rewind, pause or fast forward. But paradoxically it’s not as if we are out of control either, because we have the opportunity in every present moment to make choices that allow us to still feel as though everything is under control.
My comfort zone remains consistently solid and unwavering in my complete acceptance that in any given situation I do not possess the ultimate control of what happens — to me or anything in my surroundings. This does not mean that I surrender my right to make choices. That freedom however is allayed by the fact that while I am confident in my choices, the fact that I cannot be guaranteed ultimate control over the results is actually comforting. If I am secure in the understanding that the choices I make may not ultimately deliver the outcome I’d hoped, I can freely grant myself solace instead of self-doubt and lack of confidence in my continued ability to move forward, feeling positive and optimistic about my next move.
Naturally, I hope I can be in sync with the actual outcome of the decisions I make and find the results to be on the same level, the same page, with the unknown entity that is charged with keeping the world properly on its axis and under some modicum of what we variably define as control.