Letting Go of Control to Find Peace


When we think of being in control, we think we are doing the right thing, for when we are in control we are happy. We are successful, confident, at ease, and most of all content. For everything is not only going our way, but the way we want it to be going. But what does this really mean? It means that yes, at this moment what you are seeing around you fits with your criteria, it follows your plan, and you to fit within it without obstacles. What does this do for you? Well, first it allows you to be at ease because everything feels right. You relax, are content, and feel at peace. It is the moment when all feels right to you. Ah yes, control, could there be anything better?


But what happens if something changes, challenges you, or pushes against your feeling of order and control, if something throws off that plan of yours? Well, the wonderful sense of relaxation quickly dissolves into something more hectic; you end up feeling lost because your world is no longer in order. The peace slips away and you are faced with trying to regain that sense of control. For that is what it really is, a sense of something, it is not real. You may know this, understand the simplicity of it, but are you living it? Is it something you practice, or like most people, do you fight against loss of control and do anything to regain it? By this I mean do you constantly seek that sense of peace attached to that feeling of being in control. For some people, this may be the only time in their lives when they feel this way. In that one fleeting moment when all is right with the world, when it all fits in around you and there are no obstacles, that may be the only place where peace is felt. But here we have a problem, for of course things change, and in reality we cannot control everything, not for any length of time, and that peace dissolves. It is a continuous struggle, not to maintain control, but to find that peace.

Think about it, when was the last time you felt really good, like all was right, going the way it should and it made you not only feel relaxed, but deep down right with the world, even happy? That was your moment of peace, at least the peace attached to your sense of control. So how do we get out of this roller coaster ride, get off and stay off? We let go of the idea that we are in control, then our sense of peace is no longer attached to physical outcomes. What this means is why do we let our inner peace fluctuate with what is clearly an ever-changing environment. It doesn’t make sense does it? One wouldn’t do this in business, unless it was high risk with very high outcomes, but this also entails the foresightedness of the possibility of losing it all. In business we know this, prepare for this, account for this possibility, but in life we play it very differently. We are attached to finding our peace in a very difficult way. How do we change this then?

We all know, at least in some way, that we cannot control everything. It seems evident right? But we very often forget and get lost in our effort to maintain control. We, everyday and all the time, strive for it, in little ways and in big ways. We may think it is even the right thing to do, like we are taking care of things, seeing to it, being responsible. But really we are doing this for very personal reasons because we are emotionally attached to the outcome. Peace then, when acquired this way is fleeting, it is hard won and easily lost. Peace can be found in other ways. In fact, one of the simpler methods is letting go. Crazy? No it’s not. Letting go means really letting go deep down, in a way that the outcome no longer affects you; it liberates you. Letting go of life’s ever-changing variances allows your sense of peace to not be based upon how things work out, on how your life and your situation are going. Letting go is freedom from the balancing act we all try to maintain. Again, it is not crazy to think this will work, it is crazy to assume you can only find peace by maintaining control.

Why do we seek control over life, over everything? We are seeking an inward sense that all is right, so we can finally relax and be at peace. So there is another way. By letting go, we are not defeated; we are released. We are setting ourselves free from trying to maintain the unattainable. Letting go is a process of seeing ourselves as not attached to the outcome. Can you do that? Honestly think of something you are worried about, connected to, and feel strongly about, and now think to yourself, do I need it this way, does it have to work just so? How do you feel when you allow it to be different than you think it should be? How do you feel if you were to see it change and not be what you expected? Before it even happens, could you allow it to be different,? If right now you said to yourself, it’s okay, it can change, and I will be okay, because you will, trust me, no matter what happens you will not only be fine, but in this case be happier. Why? Because you are not fighting the inevitable. What I mean is that what will come will be as it is, there is no true control.


If it were to be different than we think it should be, and deep down we have realized this beforehand, that it is okay, then how do we feel? Not only do we feel fine, but hey, we feel better than we would have had we still been trying to control that whole thing. So think about it this way, you are going down a river in a small boat, you have an oar, you think you can manage to take a right when you need to, for your pretty strong and the current is not so bad. It would make you very happy if it worked out this way for you, for the other way is not as fun, longer, and well, you’ve decided not what you want,. But the river is speeding up and you are moving faster; you are getting a little concerned about your ability to maintain your choice, getting worried, anxious that you may not be able to do what you want. Now you see the bend, and then the fork in the river. It’s do or die time. You start paddling very hard, cutting into the water with everything you’ve got. You can feel your back ache, your muscles pulling, and low and behold, I’m sure you see where this is going, you are not strong enough to change your course. You cannot control the direction that the water is taking you in. It is pulling you the way you don’t want to go. So what do you do? Do you get frustrated, upset, swear, throw your paddle in the water, but where you would be then. So let’s say you are now heading to the left, the path you didn’t choose, now you are upset, even angry, and in being this way you are perhaps missing the very reason for being where you are, which was originally to peacefully float down the river. You’ve lost that goal. Instead, you will arrive at your pull-out point pissed off . That is not going to do anybody any good, especially you.

So how can you help yourself become less attached to the outcomes, how can you let go? Try this, when you feel concerned about something, realize that the way it may turn out could be different then you expect, and this is okay. The next time you plan for something, remember how it works out is probably the way it should. It’s going to work out one way or another. You may like it or you may not, but there are many possibilities. Life is so full of so many things, with innumerable directions it could take us. We are but one person, so to trying to maintain a sense of control is like trying to paddle upriver, which is harder than it seems (more so without a paddle). It is so much more enjoyable to float downstream, letting the water take you where it may, enjoying the scenery, which is why you are here, to enjoy your life and be happy.