How often do you feel powerless?
Where in your life do you most often feel out of control?
These probably aren’t things you actually want to think about. Chances are it can cause a lot of anxiety and fear. We can feel spun up in our bodies. We start to feel unsafe, and as a result we stop trusting life.
When we start to see the reality that what is happening in our lives is not something we can keep contained under our personal grip we start to feel weak, detached from life, and full of disappointment.
Yeah, those are some pretty heavy feelings. Especially when ultimately the emotions we want to feel are empowered, connected, abundant and joyful.
Naturally we turn to control when we feel out of control. We start to control anything and everything. We control people, places, things, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, situations, experiences, etc. We control the food that we eat, and the amount we consume. We try to control our kids, our coworkers, or our partners. We control how we present ourselves so that we can control how others think of us.
When parts of our lives start to feel like they are loosening from our grip, we hold tighter. When things feel beyond manipulation, we spend more time trying to change them.
We feel powerless, so we exert power.
The reason control becomes a sticky situation is because it isn't actually putting us in our power at all. When I say our power I mean your highest personal power. The most moral, loving, open way of engaging with life.
When we close our grip on life to exert what we perceive to be our power we are actually stopping the flow of Life. The energy that pulses through every moment. Some may call it Nature, God, the Universe… it is that larger power that seems to oversee life. We when we restrict the flow of Life, we are closing down, making things small, and halting the true Power. We are not trusting the orchestrator of life.
Just like our bodies. When we are in a state of fear we clench our fist, and our jaw. We can feel our bodies constrict, our heart beat quicken, and our breath weaken. We are stopping the natural flow of energy within us.
We exert control on situations because we believe that by making things the way that we want them to be, neat and perfect, we will feel better about ourselves and our life.
As we all know, we can’t control much of anything. Especially all those people, circumstances, and things. We think that by nagging them to do things differently or manipulating things just so, that we will feel safe in life. It turns out what we usually feel is a greater sense of powerlessness. There will always be more things that need to be controlled. When we try to control other's you are giving your power away, not stepping into your power. Control is a false power, and incredibly deceiving.
This is where it gets interesting. Our psyche prefers balance. Our inner workings want us to loosen our grip. Our spirit wants us to loosen up and let go of control. Have you ever noticed that just when you seem to have your life all under your control, BAM… there appears an aspect of your life that is SO out of control?
A common form of out of control behavior is bingeing. Maybe it is on food, TV, alcohol, the internet or shopping.
Chances are, if you spend to much of your personal energy exerting control, and restricting the flow of life you will find an aspect of your life where you feel outrageously out of control.
We all have a bit of a rebel within us, and that rebel gets triggered in different ways, and under different circumstances. Those of us that live life from the Perfectionist, or Goody Goody position will most likely find our Rebel rearing her head when we have held the reins too tight for too long. She will unleash her fury, and remind you how little control you have in life.
The truth is, as scary as that sounds, to be out of control, to be in the fury of reality, it is just what we need. We need that reminder to put us back in our place in life. Back on our horse, where we can really see the big picture. We need our rebel to remind us of our true power, and how it is meant to be used.
One of the places we most often grab the reins of life and start exerting control is because we have let our minds run wild. We seem to believe that our thoughts are our truth teller, and we believe that this voice is who we really are. Let’s be clear, our highest self is not a nagging, controlling, manipulative, disempowering, criticizing, voice. No, that is our mind. There is another voice that is deep within. That other voice is our true essence, our inner spirit that knows your true power. That voice, a part of us that we often keep small, and forgotten, needs to be heard. When we bring that voice, our true voice, into the foreground we start to find our true power.
Let me try and explain this with a story.
May has a big interview today. She is both excited and scared. She would really like to get hired for this job, not just because it is a short commute from home, which means more free time, but because it would be a wonderful learning experience. She knows that she has the skills, the personality, and work drive to excel at this company. She believes, deep within, that she is right for this job. This feeling that she has isn’t coming from a place of righteousness, instead it is coming from a place of truth, she truly believes in herself. That voice, is her higher self. Then, as she catches herself thinking these good thoughts her self-critic jumps in. That other voice we carry in our mind. The voice of parents, teachers or collective humanity…It tells her she won’t get it, she doesn’t deserve it, that there is someone better for the job than her.
When May is connecting with her higher self, she feels in her power. She feels confident and open to what life is offering her from this interview. When May connects with her self criticizing, or controlling part of herself she starts to constrict, she starts to feel small and inadequate. In this moment she is stepping out of her power.
Interesting right?! We have been trying to manipulate and control life so that we can feel powerful, but it is all just an illusion!
“Real Strength isn’t control, it’s knowing when to let go.” Christopher Barzak
When we let go, and give space, we step into our power. We connect with our inner knowing, and we can see that we can trust life, and that we can actually feel safe in uncertainty.
We can’t control others. We can’t control the weather. We can’t control if we actually get the job, but we can control how we act in each moment, and how we react to life as it happens.
I can’t control when I am going to go gray, but I can choose how I react as it happens. I may not be able to control all the ridiculous thoughts in my head, but I can choose not to believe them.
We believe that the “mastery” of life is what will bring us happiness and abundance. Like many things in life, we are misguided and disillusioned. To be the true master of our fate we must be willing to loosen our grip on life.
The magic of life happens when we let go. In that space we embrace trust. We are open to what life brings us. We have freedom. Our personal energy isn’t spent keeping things constricted, therefore there is more energy in life.
Letting go is empowering.
Freedom is Power.
When you hand over the reins of control we are telling Life, that we trust we will be taken care of.
It is clarity that we desire, not control. Clarity of mind that is what we actually seek. To be able to hear our true self speak, and see our true power at work. Listening to that voice that lifts us up, that free’s us from anxiety and fear.
It is time to step into our power. The true power that life has gifted us.
As the equinox reminds us, it is a balance. Your desire to control is a yearning for balance.
It is where and how we exert control that matters. When we choose to exert our control over how we react to circumstances, and how we engage in life we are stepping into our true power.
There are things we can control, and there are plenty of things we can’t.Let us release our grip and let our true power be freed.
As the fall tree’s releasing their leaves, maybe you too can let something go.