Do you ever feel completely shattered when things don't go your way? Okay, completely shattered may have been an exaggeration for some, but for others not being in control can really wreck us!
Control can be as minuet as wanting the shower curtain to always be fully drawn when no ones using it to needing people in our life to treat us a certain way in order to be happy. The difference here is we can control the shower curtain most of the time, but we cannot control people, and if you think you can you will be setting yourself up for some serious shattering...
Some days if not all days, you just wish every little thing would go your way. You wish your boyfriend would shut all the cabinets in the kitchen when he's done, or your roommate would wash the dishes fully and stack them a certain way that you just know is best, or that your mom would know not to ask you how's the job hunt, are you back in school, what are you doing now? Why is everyone hassling us and trying to drive us crazy?!
It's almost as if we need to just live in our own little controlled box of everything we like organized just so, with no one interfering, and when stepping out into the world no one would say anything but rainbows and unicorns about us and our lifestyle choices. Well, that just ain't gonna happen and really, we're fortunate it's not!
People are like mirrors that hold up different angles of our own reflection. If we begin to self reflect on how we are reacting to people in our lives and the things they do that seem to just drive us insane, we will soon see the ways that we restrict and inhibit our own happiness. We will also see how we can bring a fragmented part of ourself back to becoming whole. You can also look at this in the respect of over-developed qualities of the self and under-developed qualities.
If it simply drives you crazy how slow your roommate does the dishes, perhaps patience is an under-developed quality that needs to be exercised in you and frustration is an over-developed quality. This example is grossly simple because many people (especially in the west) are lacking patience and easily frustrated. This is due to some cultural, societal influence that I will definitely talk about in another post, but here it's about becoming self-aware to that which is robbing us of joy and discovering personal qualities and habit patterns.
Self-reflection on how we are reacting to others and the external world will guide us on a long and potentially never ending journey of self-awareness. This is where the work is really done, because once we are aware of what is triggering our control issues then we can start unravelling the mystery of where they came from and how to heal the root causes.
Now I will say, this will be a different journey for everyone because control stems from SO MANY different places. Control tendencies can often look like anything from obsessive-compulsive behavior and anxiety to bullying and dominance. The one thing most of these behaviors have in common at their core is security. At some point in our lifetime a sense of security was lost whether that be security of the home, security of love, security of family, security of self-image, security of food, security of finances, and so on.
When we can identify where the security was once lost, the grip of our control will start to loosen. We will begin to see that maybe I needed my roommate to stack the dishes the way I know best because at some point in my life I was made to believe I didn't know best and I couldn't be trusted. Maybe it drives me crazy when my boyfriend doesn't arrange the pillows how I want because I need my home environment to be a certain way due to losing control of my home environment when I was young. These examples are simple and can seem silly, but the consequences of these little things add up to robbing us of a lot of happiness and adding much unwanted stress.
The work now is really yours to self-reflect and dig deep where some of your security foundations got shattered, cracked, or completely demolished. I will say personally, it is not easy nor comfortable, but once the healing begins the freedom and joy begin as well.
May your path be blessed with great insight and much faith! Om Shanti~