Have you ever noticed that ever since we were wee toddlers, every inclination of our being yearns for control? When a baby feels like things are getting out of hand (i.e. diapers are filling up with the nasty), he or she cries and throws a tantrum. That baby lost control of a part of life for a short moment. Being unable to comprehend why or how, that baby proceeds to do the only thing he or she knows how to do to regain control – cry – and control is restored when the parents attend to him or her.
Seems rather silly, right? Awfully childish.
Unfortunately, this pattern doesn’t change even as we grow up.
When we lose control of the things around us, the tendency is to do something in an attempt to grab it back – whether it be whine, emo, grumble, or argue. We need control – we lust after it. We state our demands and mark out our maps clearly. Any deviations are inexcusable. At the first sign of losing control, we panic – we grab the steering wheel, and desperately attempt to steer back on track. Nothing less will do.
Sadly, this leaves very little room for creativity or adventure – for the unknown to occur. You see, if we are always in control of all things, what spontaneity can erupt from there? What adventure can we run into if we’ve conscientiously marked out a route for ourselves through life? What clever inventions can emerge if we stick to the tried-and-tested?
Sounds familiar? Example: Stubbornly sticking to an academic track even though you detest it with every fiber of your being – because it is the definite and proven route to “success”.
The greatest adventures I have had in my life (thus far, in any case) have occurred outside of my planning. In retrospect, it seems obvious – how can it be possible to plan a random occurrence? Yet, the tendency is to be a control-freak on some level in whatever we do. The problem is, what are the chances of random adventure if I have planned (and thoroughly demanded to follow) a route from head to tail?
What life can we live if we don’t let go?