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It would appear we have very little control over anything in our lives, or of our lives. Whether we live and breathe and heart beats is much beyond our control. What the day brings us is beyond ultimate construction. How things turn out is beyond our engineering. And so we spend minutes, hours and days bemoaning that which does not seem to serve us. It’s too hot or it’s too cold. People are idiots and nature cruel. I wish that thing would die, I don’t understand why that person was lost. So the merry-go-round turns, taking us along for the ride.

And yet, if we look at the things over which we have control, perhaps we have underestimated their power. We have control over how we breathe. When we know the best of us is required, we take a deep breath. That breath gives us space to think. It connects us back to the wider picture, the world that offers us the self-sustaining oxygen that helps us to think clearly. The deep breath tells the body to over-write the fight or flight trigger. And into the present we settle.

Once we settle into the moment, we can hear the stories. There may be many conflicting, there may be one dominant, but there is always a story. The story has been built over time, edited to suit new stages, and tailored to fit new characters in your life. It is one by which you then rule the apparent appropriateness of action and reaction. It has been embraced as a part of who you are. The deep breath allows you to feel into whichever story arises and make a choice. From being truly present, supported inside and out by the universe, you can determine if the story is a myth, a fable, old-time gossip or news. You become aware that you can judge the story and that therefore the story is simply a construct from you, is not you. And from there you can control it.

Once you see the story for what it is, you have control over which emotions you want to ride from it. Every story has a pattern of emotions tied to it and, mostly, because we never question the story, we treat the associated emotions like heartbeats, things that must come and things that prove we are alive. But if we can see the story as a choice in construct, the emotions do not make us either. They are but part of the story, a choice into which we can invest energy or not.

When you see the emotions as part of a construct, you can see that judgement is a choice, not a fact. There are a million different viewpoints in on a single thing and if one brings you pain, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. You suddenly see you are not the emotions. And you are not even the protagonist, but the narrator. You are not what things happen to, but the one who can decide how to present it.

It makes the world an intimidating place, understanding how much choice we have. It means that the inherent variety of our days, the little moments we walk by or avert our gaze from, the big apocalyptic moments and all those inbetween are open opportunities. They’re open choices to us. What do we want to do today and how do we want to be? Which stories do we wish to build into reality and which do we want to pull down? We have to be aware of who we are, the voice and the eyes that sit behind the stories and emotions, and what will serve us best. We have to take time to know ourselves. It means challenges are not damnations, idiots are not obstacles and blessings are only interpreted as such. It means you have to be proactive in your life, assigning significance, rather than spraying energy as a scatter-gun between the tales you’ve told yourself.

We have control over our breath and our thoughts, what we choose to ingest as food and spiritual sustenance and how we treat the world that nourishes us. In truth, we have control of the wheel, the windscreen, the safety belt and the seat. We have ultimate control over what our lives are like and how we’ll choose to see it out. It’s there for us to take.

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2 thoughts on “control issues

  1. And this is just what is helping me put together my new life, knowing I choose what goes in and what comes out as my reaction to it… it is not about being reactive but about being selective… my peace and balance depends on me being mindful and aware of the choice and choosing me, my well-being… Safi, beautiful friend, hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day, you have a friend on the other side of the screen on the other side of earth, but very near your heart, xoxo ale

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