Well, for many years I believed that I was not in control of my life, I just felt lucky when things were working as I wished, and then I felt like a victim when things went wrong… all in all I felt pretty powerless about most of it.
But things have changed for me, completely changed I would say, as I have slowly realized that I can live my life “by design” as opposed to just “by default,” but to be honest with you, this truth took a long time to take hold, and a lot of inner work on my part… as many good things do 🙂
So, Are we in control of our lives or aren’t we?
Here is the thing: we will never be able to control most of what surrounds us: the weather, the traffic, the constant changes, and mostly: the people around us. But we are always in control of our actions and our reactions to those variables, so in a way, we are in control of our lives.
If we see ourselves as victims of our surroundings then we will never feel we have control, but if we switch our perspective and realize that the way we decide to act or respond to everything that surrounds us will determine our true experience, then we will feel truly empowered and in control.
Is what happens to us a product of simple fate or is it something we bring onto ourselves (consciously or not? )
How much of our experience is self-made and how much is just imposed into our human condition?
I truly believe that what happens to us, to a great extent, is the result of our own making, whether we like it or not, I know most people cringe when they hear this, and so did I for most of my life, but I have come to realize one major thing:
We are often totally unaware of how we bring things into our lives, so we cannot possibly take responsibility for it, until, we become aware of our internal patterns, deep seated beliefs and subconscious workings. And gaining that kind of awareness is no small feat! Sadly, a lot of people never do.
On the other hand, yes, there is a part that we can call fate, and this is because we do not live alone nor isolated, we live in a big wide world with millions of other people and living creatures as well as natural forces, and because of this, we do depend on all of them, to a certain degree as well.
However, the more aware we are, the more in control we can be, simply because we realize our own part of responsibility and we can begin to take control of what we can indeed change, and for the remaining of it, what we would call “fate” we can also be in control, in the sense that our reaction to what happens is definitely under our control.
There is a lovely “Serenity Prayer” that my parents had on a wall at home for years, and it has always been in my mind… here it is:
This little prayer illustrates what I am trying to convey in this post.
Yes, there are things that I cannot change, but the way I look at them will change my experience (accepting as opposed to resisting.)
And there are things I can definitely change (they are under my control,) in fact, a lot more things than I think.
However, I need to be wise enough (aware enough,) to tell the difference, which means: I need to do my work of introspection and self-discovery in order to gain that awareness/wisdom.
So, in my newly acquired view, we are pretty much in control of our lives, but this is a “control” in which our ego does not play an important part, it is not about getting things “my way” but rather it is about merging in with the flow of life, learning to dance with it, and co-create our experience through this dance.
Have a lovely week!