This is a Story About Control

“The thing about control is that we never have any. Some of us are comforted by the idea that we maintain some control over things, but by submitting to the need to control, control is controlling you. Funny little paradox huh?

Thought: that which we view as weak is our biggest fear. We act in spite of it and that is why that, which we seek to control, controls us. Thus, we are ruled by not our strengths, but by our weaknesses. To defeat this, one must make not an enemy of weakness but embrace it. Only through yielding can one conquer.”

I have been getting a lot of messages about surrender lately. Giving in. Giving up control. Handing myself over to some force- God, the universe, love- that is greater than myself. And in my characteristically stubborn way, I have been ignoring them all. Steadfastly, willfully, foolhardily.

I could say it’s because I am an action oriented person; I thrive on doing. Not thinking. And certainly not feeling. I could say because I am not particularly invested in esoteric, grandiose ideas of life, I don’t find myself particularly thriving in the gray areas they created.

But, let’s be real. That’s all bullshit.

The truth is I’m a coward. I am afraid. Every day. Not of the things you SHOULD be afraid of; driving too fast, talking to strangers, jumping out of planes. Those things exhilarate me. Rather, it is the things that should bring me peace and balance and joy that make me fearful. Giving up the control I think I have. Risking a lot to move to a city I actually want to live in. Falling for someone I’ve probably been falling for for years. Moving my career in the direction I want, not just the one that makes the most sense.

And then Jess sent me this quote, as we were emailing back and forth about me breaking things. I’d seen it months ago on her blog, and it resonated with me then, too. It was another one of those things I’d stumbled upon that I needed to take to heart and promptly pushed out of my mind for the comfort of the way things are. You know, dance with the devil you know, and all.

But I need to keep this in mind. I need to work on this. On being ruled by my strengths and not my weaknesses. On being comfortable admitting that my need for control is just as much an illusion as my thinking I’m in control is. Not making an enemy of my weaknesses, since they are just as much a part of who I am as all the great things. To learn to admire my own flaws as much as I admire the human fallacies of everyone else.

I might not be able to do all these things. At least not as perfectly as I’d like. I might not get this right and it might not be pretty. I might not be able to be all emotionally available and demonstrative and self-forgiving. I might not always be able to be the type of person who can surrender when I should.

But I can at least be brave.

3 thoughts on “This is a Story About Control

  1. ugh,
    I think I'm going to cry.

    I recognise myself right there, bold where everyone is scared, afraid where others are secure.

    Of all things, I fear personal greatness. I get scared sometimes when I read over things I've written cos that can't possibly be me.


  2. You ARE brave. Everyday that you share your journey, that's a tally in the courage column. Furthermore, too much action can leave you just as autistic as inaction. Damn this crazy life and its demand for balance.


  3. Good post. Indirectly reminded me of something I recently heard in a sermon:

    “People cannot manipulate your strengths… they manipulate your weaknesses. It is best to know yourself, and be honest about what your weaknesses are.”

    I like to be honest about where I am and what my weaknesses are… And at least go in the direction of working on my weaknesses. For me, that's half the battle.


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