My father taught me how to be a bit of a control freak. Now, he’s unteaching me. To be fair, my mother contributed heavily to the first lesson too. I see now that she also gave me the opportunity to unlearn it, but I missed it. My father, as usual, is in my face with it.
We’ve all learned a lot about how big our illusion of control is during the last year. Things we took for granted suddenly weren’t available, and there was nothing we could do about it. We’ve all struggled with that loss in different ways. Yet, we still fight to maintain that illusion of control, or at least I do …
But there’s something about watching someone die, failing physically and mentally, that brings the reality fully home:
We don’t have control over nearly as much as we think we do.
I’ve had to watch my father be forced to surrender control because of his disability, loss of movement and function. He’s completely lost his independence, but he’s still fighting for it. That fight is making him very, very unhappy.
I like to think that I am less of a control freak than he is. Sure, I like to get my own way, who doesn’t, but I’m much more adaptable. I’m not going to make myself unhappy fighting a losing battle, or am I?
And that, my friend, is the key question. Watching him fight and rant and struggle against his helplessness is holding up a big mirror. How often do I fight and rant and struggle when I think something is out of my control?
Sadly, more often than I care to admit. It’s hard to surrender to the whims of fate without a fight. But how much freer and more joyful would my life be if I did?
Watching my dad, suffering with him, I realize how important it is to relinquish that need for control.
Who knows what I will learn, experience, or receive, if I let go of what I’m trying to control and open up to where my Higher Self is guiding me?
It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
Wisdom tells me that I will find Serenity in listening to my father, supporting him, encouraging him and accepting that there’s little I can change for him. I won’t abandon him, but I can relinquish the rest.
That leaves me free to be open to new things, like writing these articles or coaching new clients, helping my husband, or finishing my next book. It also leaves me open to opportunities that I haven’t yet imagined.
Surrender can be a beautiful thing, even though it often feels out of control.
Here’s to being out of control. 🥂
With love and light,
PS – Significant Women: Leaders Reveal What Matters Most is still on sale at Amazon for 99 cents. All proceeds go to support Elimu Girls, an amazing charity that helps vulnerable girls in Kenya become entrepreneurs. My chapter is called “The Beauty of Detours”.