Control: Real or Illusion
As Spiritual students and New Thought adherents, we often like to think of ourselves as being in control. However, Covid-19 appears to have a different idea in mind and has taken on the role of being our teacher. Now, know that you do have a choice in that matter. You can accept Covid-19 as your teacher or you can kick, scream, reject and suffer in your objection. Control is considered innate in the mind of metaphysicians from all walks of life, however, it is not that simple. We tend to think that taking responsibility for our lives is equal to having control. Alas, it is not!
Metaphysicians in general could benefit from the practice of surrender. Once again, however, resistance may surface, since surrender is frequently confused with loss or with giving something up, in the mind of the student. This is another misunderstanding which keeps the Spiritual student busy trying to hold on, to fix and to drive a particular outcome. All these efforts are ego-based. The more insecure or fearful one might be, the greater the attempt to control the outcome and the environment. Endeavoring to control instead of releasing, allowing and surrendering is exhausting and will lead to depletion. Covid-19- like it or not – is supporting you to understand yourself in this way.
Let us consider this: who do we have to be, to navigate this unique time and our tendency to control outcome? What are the muscles we need to build to ride through this experience? You are invited to confidently apply these five qualities to navigate this time of Covid-19.
Look for and find the balance between controlling and allowing by observing and tuning into yourself. Pay attention to how different it feels to control (or should we say force an outcome) rather than allowing things to unfold with ease and grace. Yes, let your body tell you and then begin to choose according to your preferred feeling. Letting go and allowing also allows your body to relax. That supports your health.
Not to get too “Zen” here, but there is something to be said to not being too attached to a particular outcome or to anything for that matter. Attachment can be a real source of pain and disappointment when what we hope and dream for does not come into being. By gently freeing our desires and then trusting the outcome, we will learn to go with the flow and not set ourselves up for upset and suffering.
Curiosity is the cure for “judgmentalism.” Cultivating the curiosity of a child is a way of looking around at the world through the eyes of total innocence and wonderment. To be curious is to suspend, or at least lighten your judgment of a person or experience. Rather than forming opinions at every turn, look at something and think to yourself: “Huh, I wonder what that is - I wonder what that means - I wonder why she did what she said/did…” Yes, curiosity can save you from a lot of pain!. The mere delay of forming opinions, affords you the time for truth to be revealed.
This quality cannot be adequately emphasized! When you choose to accept or even evolve to love - what is - that what is - ceases to upset and disappoint you. Acceptance of yourself, your loved ones, people, and situations around you allows the innate beauty or truth of the person or the situation to rise and be experienced. When I learned to accept myself as an extreme introvert many years ago, I stopped beating myself up for not wanting to go to parties. I allowed myself to be me and gently turned down invitations. Suddenly I was no longer judging myself. It was a beautiful and freeing transformation.
Spiritual leaders and teachers today emphasize the necessity to simply practice being present. This may be the greatest gift of this global experience. Covid-19 has slowed us down, forced us to focus, , encouraged us to look at life, ourselves and our four walls in ways that we never have before. One of the beautiful things about getting present is how you will be moved to witness beauty, peace, your own thoughts, the sounds, and/or the silence that surrounds you.
When you are committed to being present, you will find that you cannot simultaneously be fearful. Presence and fear cannot occupy the same place at the same time.
Depending upon your age, many of you can remember record album covers. My favorite album covers always had lyrics on the inside. Can you remember sitting around with friends, listening to music, and reading music lyrics? If you can manage to not reject/struggle against the shelter-in-place edict and instead lean into the experience, you will find that practicing presence ushers you closer to all your inner resources for peace. In presence, there is no fear. Fear, unless it is a legitimate situation, like a bear attacking you, exists only in your imagined future thinking. Practicing presence produces peace and that is the peace from trying to control.
Imagine practicing acceptance, balance, detachment, and curiosity. Ask yourself if you would prefer to attempt to control the outcome or to experience the benefit of these practices. One will strain you, the other frees you to be the person you were born to be.
Giving up the illusion of control is like giving yourself a gift. The gift is peace, harmony and beauty. Take on these practices, play with them and discover whether you can find freedom, even while sheltered-in-place.