I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a controlling person. I am generally someone who can go with the flow of life circumstances, or do what is necessary to handle what life throws at me without creating too much unnecessary drama for myself.
And yet, I think there is a difference between being controlling, and the need to feel in control. I am certainly someone who operates best within my comfort zone. A comfort zone of predictability, security, and experience. In this zone, I know what to expect, and what is expected of me. In this zone, I feel safe.
However, life doesn’t work this way. The need to stay in a place of predictability, often drains the spontaneity and curiosity out of my day to day experience. I become less open to taking risks. I become less open to living on the edges and feeling what the universe has to offer.
Always trying to stay in my comfort zone means manipulating my life to fit into what I need from it, rather than softening my boundaries and expanding into life itself.
I also find that living in my comfort zone means living in my head, rather than in the moment that is unfolding. I am constantly thinking, ruminating, planning, so that I am not caught off guard. I am evaluating how this moment compares to every moment in the past, so that I can know what to expect and how to handle myself. I am assessing how I can take care of everybody’s feelings, as well as my own, so that everything and everyone is okay.
When I wake up to my need to feel in control, I realize that it is an exhausting way to live. It is actually anything but a comfort zone.
I also realize as I type these words, that the need to stay in control, for me, perhaps goes hand in hand with a lack of faith. A lack of faith in myself that I will be okay no matter what. A lack of faith in the universe that I am on the path that is intended for me.
Living mindfully, fully present in this moment, means pulling myself from the constant chatter in my head, and taking a leap of faith…leaping mind body and soul into the fearless, direct experience of my life.
So today, and in the week ahead, I invite you to join me in seeing mindfulness as a leap of faith…that, despite what our heads tell us, perhaps what we need is less planning, judging, and thinking, and more living, being, and experiencing.
If you have a few additional minutes, I also invite you to read the poem below, entitled, “She Let Go,” by Reverend Safire Rose. This poem always serves as a gentle reminder for me to keep letting go.
She Let Go
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the Sun and the Moon shone forevermore.
~ Safire Rose