Sunday, October 10, 2010

Who's Driving This Thing?

Over at the deliciousness that is Divatology, the Divine Diva has a series of posts filed under This I Believe. These are her infinite wisdoms - some are quotes from other people and some are her own zen arrows zinging toward targets.

Now, if you happen to know her in real life, and I do, you will occasionally hear her speak some of these beliefs in her out loud voice.

One of my favorites she often states - although conducting a search of her blog archives did not bring any result so I suspect she's not ever posted it - is: Control is an illusion.

This a particularly powerful zen arrow she lobs at me - whether she knows it's found a mark is up for debate - as, like I suspect all of us are, I am mostly in denial about how little control I have over my circumstances.

Surprise. Control? You've got none.

This is not to say control doesn't exist at all. It just means my scope for control is extremely limited to one thing: I can control only my thoughts and actions.

This doesn't come to mind on a daily basis. You know, there are things we know by rote - action and consequence - like say, I know my teeth will rot out of my head if I don't brush and floss. So, I control the destiny of my teeth, for the most part, by taking care of them. I know that if I don't get my ass out of bed and haul it to work each morning, eventually I'm guaranteed to lazy myself right out of a job. Thus, while I cannot control anything else about my place of employment, I can at least control my actions to make the likelihood of keeping said job as high as possible.

Action. Consequence. Control.

Again, those are things I just take for granted.

However, the absence of control is most notable when I'm waiting for someone else to act. I cannot force a favorable action by continuing to push for my own agenda, continuing to act when there is nothing upon which to act.

This is when I find myself spinning in the "I don't know what to do" column.

I think the hardest thing to realize and accept is that when I don't know what to do, it means there is nothing to be done in that moment. Further input, further action from another party is required before I can proceed with any kind of decision about next steps.

It's an extremely uncomfortable place to find myself. It is a stare down in the face of my lack of control. It means I have to wait...patiently...and just be.

It means that I have to accept that control is an illusion and take comfort in the knowledge that no one is exempt from the powerlessness of life.

But it sucks. Knowing it sucks.

However, for now, I'm letting myself just be. And I'm going to enjoy it. That I can control.

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