Having control is like having a box with measuring instruments. A ruler, a clock, a thermometer… Everything that enables us to measure something. Whenever we use the instrument, we can check if something is off standard. Think of a room thermometer. You know that having 23 C at home is comfortable, so whenever the thermometer shows something higher or lower, you act upon that.
In life we love having those “instruments”. We love having control – seeing how things are doing, predicting situations and fixing issues. I personally feel at ease when I´m in control. It makes me think I can influence how things go about and predict results. Control also allows less room for surprise. The process is being supervised, so no surprises. It gives a sense of calmness.
Let´s have a look at an easy example of control: feeling hungry. It´s quite easy to have control over an empty stomach. You know when you get hungry, you know how long you can stay hungry before you get secondary effects. Preventing yourself from feeling hungry you plan the day ahead and prepare food. Or you know where and when you can get food so you just need to take money with you. There is a sense of control here – you can predict, you can act upon, and it depends on YOU.
Control is good, but it limits us to certain situations only.
Control works for the small games in life. It´s like using the pawns on the chessboard.
The big games are those you can´t have under control. For big games you use the chess king: faith.
Finding a partner and keeping a partner for life – this is nothing you can control. Being the best candidate in a job interview – no chance you control that. Overcoming an illness – forget controlling your body. Getting pregnant – again, the same. All those are big life events, and none of them are subject to control. No matter how much effort we put into those things, they will never be in our hands.
This is when the king of all life lessons comes in: FAITH.
During life we learn to trust ourselves and others. But we also need to trust and have faith in situations, future outcomes, all the processes going on in life. Everything we can´t control is subject to our faith.
For control freaks, this is a major lesson. It´s been a big lesson for me. I tend to get very impatient and anxious when there´s nothing left than wait and have faith.
But, as someone said, if you try to control everything and worry about the things you can´t control, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of frustration and misery.
Drawing a line to my personal life, in the last weeks I´ve been looking for a flat to rent. This can be a big emotional turmoil, and in my case it is. I know I can´t control much – I can search the internet, talk to agencies, but that´s it.
Looking for a flat is in my hands, finding it is not in my power.
Every day I remind myself that this is within the big games of life, and I have to face it as such. When life wants me to find THE place to be, it will lead me towards it. When? How? Which flat? No one knows. But as long as I´m going to be anxious wanting to control this process, I may be slowing it down or even blocking it completely. Because I´m trying to use the pawns.
But the only way to win this game is moving the king: having faith.
How about you? Getting ready to use your king?