Control Is Letting Go
This is a story about how a control freak learned how to let go. The morbid details matter much less than the sparknotes version which is this: One day, I woke up in my own personal hell in which I realized, the more I tried to control things around me, the more they spiraled out of control.
My natural response, as someone who loves a place for everything and everything in its place, was to grow even more obsessive about details I already couldn’t get a grip on. Maybe if I added more restrictions, created more expectations, designed more processes I’d begin to see what I saw in my head.
I rammed a square peg into a round hole over and over again until the impact from my need for control broke me.
Lesson #59683: Having control means letting go of it.
Once I had plotted and planned and orchestrated and organized my way into the ground, without seeing any of the fruit I was taught to believe comes from those things, I had to take a step back. The transactional nature of putting in and getting out had vanished from my life, at least in the traditional sense. Instead it was replaced by a vast tapestry of stitches and threads that added up to this thing called my purpose.
When I decided to give up a life of smoke and mirrors in favor for one my soul felt at home in, it also meant giving up my need to control how I got to each checkpoint. If purpose is more about becoming than it is about achieving this thing or that, then I needed more experience and life served it up on a platter. There was no way out, but through even when I had checked all of the right boxes over and over again.
As the saying goes, things that are real cannot be forced. They cannot happen before their time, even when you’ve done everything you were supposed to do.
What’s real will not show up for you, no matter how badly you work for it, if it is not yours to have. And when we are so focused on telling the Creator and His universe just how things should go, we miss out on the infinite number of ways they could come to us differently. We miss out on the beauty of becoming.
Once that knowledge rattles you and then settles down in your spirit, it opens up a world of possibility. It releases the bird from its cage to sing. That sometimes you can give everything you have to a situation and still not see it move, means that the onus doesn’t fall completely on you. The release of that pressure has allowed me to soar.
And so the lesson here: it is your job to show up and show out and let the rest do the rest. You don’t have to ram into things that already have your name on them; they will bloom in their season. It’s not ever about how; it’s always about why.
Read: The Year of More
When we take ourselves out of the center of the universe and realize that we are but one small, miraculous part, it allows us to navigate the world without the veil of expectation. It allows us to open up to all the possibilities. We are part of a drumbeat that moves to its own rhythm at its own cycle:
“To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.”
The world will make room for you, adopt you into its ecosystem, if you let it.
In fact, I’ve learned that losing the compulsion to be in control is how you actually come to possess it.