Saturday, April 13, 2013

Control and Interpretation

I guess that the idea of "being in control" or, as we often hear it these days, being a "control freak" is really based on our interpretation of thing. These of course include

  • the world,
  • our place in the world,
  • our ability to change things in our world, and, at the bottom,
  • our ability to have enough power over ourselves and others that we get what we want.

I have been reading a book on Improvisation for the Spirit and at one point she talks about control.
Control is elusive and wanting control just leads to suffering.
-Katie Goodman
Suffering. Not something any of us would naturally accept. But that brings to mind another saying that goes around the recovery community from time to time:
Pain is real; suffering is optional.
In other words our perception of pain and our interpretation of it can lead us into suffering or something else. The suffering naturally leads to things like resentments, "poor me", anger, fear. We then pull away, isolate or strike back. We try yo find ways and places of control. We suffer.

Goodman then says something profound in the improv book:
Trust is the opposite of control.
Wait! Trust? But trust in what? Or who?

Trust, among other things that the world is the way it is and that in some way or another beyond our control, it will be okay for the world.
…All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
-Julian of Norwich
Then things begin to fall into place a whole lot easier. The daily themes we have talked about can begin to intertwine:
  • Acceptance- all is what it is
  • Compassion- others are in the same place we are
  • Gratitude- that all is and will be in the hands of a power greater than ourselves
  • Deeper meaning- which can be found in the midst of that lack of control
  • Forgiveness- for others and ourselves when we seek to take that control
  • Celebration- for all that we have been given
  • Prayer and meditation- to keep in greater and greater contact with our higher power

Life begins to flow differently when that begins to happen. Life begins to have a rhythm that we can fit into because the world is just doing its thing (for better or worse in our interpretations.)

As I learn more of being mindful and to meditate I learn that my focus needs to be on what is and what that means. I learn that much is far beyond my control and to fight back like that is to cause myself to suffer. I need to be mindful of needing to trust and let go of my ways and learn the ways of peace.

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