5 ways to give up control, and take charge of your life.
The idea that we can (and must) control life has become a deeply-rooted part of human psyche. In fact, it is this mindset that underpins our sense of entitlement and our self-destructive need to control, not just day to day life, but also the natural environment around us.
But it is pure fallacy. Whilst we are in charge of our lives — whilst we are fully responsible for our own actions, reactions and decisions — we are never, ever going to be in control. We have no right to control or coerce others. We have no ability to control external events. We have no hope in hell of anticipating and intercepting the actions and reactions of seven billion entangled human lives and, somehow, twisting and molding all of those factors to our personal advantage.
We may be in charge of our lives, but we are never, ever in control.
Life is actually very simple, and the only reason it can feel complicated is our unconscious need to control every element of it. The only thing that prevents us from accepting each moment of our lives as it is, and from empowering ourselves to deal with these moments effectively, is our inability to let go:
1. Let go of the past
It is sometimes easy to forget that we are natural creatures, but the simple fact remains that we are as much a part of nature as the animals, trees and landscape that share our basic elemental building blocks. As a part of the natural universe, our inherent motivation is to evolve; to grow, change, learn and adapt. Human society will continue to change as it has done for hundreds of thousands of years, just as you will never return to the person you used to be. Holding on to, or trying to recreate, the past (whether it be in physical appearance, emotional states, relationships, past situations, societal norms, accepted knowledge or expressions of faith and religion) is both pointless and unnatural.
Being in charge means learning to accept and enjoy the process of aging, growth and evolution — in yourself, in others and in the world around you. By learning to embrace change, you can begin each day with a sense of curiosity, and excitement for what the future may bring.
2. Let go of timing
As we have divorced ourselves from our natural lifestyle, we have come to believe that the timing of our lives — of projects, ambitions, goals and desires — is somehow in our control. We are under the delusion that if we work tirelessly, push relentlessly, nag incessantly, then life will miraculously unfold according to some date we have circled on our mental calendar.
Experience has shown me that life has its own plans and we are foolish to hold it to some arbitrary timeline, simply because we wish it to be so. If you really want to be in charge of your life, understand that life’s timing is always perfect; if things are not working as planned, the wisest thing to do is wait. Know that, in time, events will flow with incredible ease but, until then, life is asking you to stop, breathe, rest and reflect.
3. Let go of what ‘should’ happen
It is human nature to project forward into the future — as we make plans and organize our future, we automatically create assumptions and expectations about how things will unfold. Either unconsciously or consciously, we decide what “success” would look like, and how everything will fall into place. Of course, life is an intricate dance of people and events and there is no way we can ever really know what is around the corner.
To be in charge of your life, it is vital to understand that your expectations, no matter how desirable, do not reflect the reality of the situation. If you are disappointed by life and how it has turned out, understand that you are reacting to a fantasy — to an idea or ideal that you simply imagined. In this way, you can free yourself from frustration and victimhood and put yourself back in the driver’s seat.
4. Let go of the Utopian fantasy
Most of us have been fed the fairytales and Utopian ideals that underpin an unhealthy, unconscious belief : If I do things right, if I am good (or strong, or brave, or hardworking) I will reach a point in my life where everything will be magical and wonderful. Forevermore. Amen.
If you truly want to be in charge of your life, it is important to understand that the search for eternal happiness is an exercise in futility. The pursuit of perfection is fantastical nonsense. You are not supposed to create a life without challenge, confrontation or imperfections. They are an important part of life, and come to you as a springboard for growth, exploration and evolution.
5. Let go of other people’s sh*t
If you want to be in charge of your life, it is imperative that you focus your time, energy and essence in the only direction that matters — inward. You are not responsible for any of the misery that you may see in the world or in the people around you. It is not your role nor your responsibility to fix anything “out there”. You are not able to, nor are you entitled to, change, alter or improve the beliefs or the behaviors of others.
There may be times where you are inspired into loving and authentic action, but, ultimately, your sole responsibility is to yourself; to find deep and lasting contentment, compassion and humility in your day to day life, and shine this as an example to the people around you. Your greatest purpose is to take charge of who you are and how you choose to cooperate with this wonderful dance called life.
Kim Forrester is an award-winning author, educator and intuitive consultant with over 15 years’ experience as a professional intuitive and spiritual teacher. She combines cutting edge science with traditional spirituality to offer the latest understandings of psi, consciousness and holistic well being.
Originally published at medium.com