What are we Really in Control of?

The topic of control has been a theme for me of late. Noticing the choices I make, both big and small, where I opt for the perceived safe and known way rather than feel a new and simpler way of being with life.

Control is the part that says, “Life has to be a certain way for it to be right, feel right, look right.” The crazy part is that I can apply this thinking even when I know what is ‘right’ in my head doesn’t actually work in real life.

I’ve learned not to be fooled by the control because it can appear happy-go-lucky. That is until things reach a certain point and, once I reach that point, it‘s like walking away from a wall with a rubber band around my waist that snaps me back to remind me of my place.

Control is the antithesis of allowing and acceptance; it is also the antithesis of self-responsibility.

This is the part that tripped me up. To make choices that were more supportive, I thought I needed some form of control but I’ve learned that there is a big difference between loving choices and controlling choices.

Take food for example. When food is a loving choice, I look at the food, I know I don’t feel great after eating it and I go “Why would I?” There is no battle because I have connected to myself and not to a mental picture of how great it might taste, or how deserving I am. In that moment there is no choice to be made, it just is.

When food choices become about control, there is an inner battle between the part that knows what feels right and the part that just wants to eat it, regardless.

So in one instance, there is almost no real choice, when it is a loving choice – it just is. And in the other, when it is a controlled choice – there is this inner battle.

This happened not just with food, but permeated every aspect of my life.

Over the years, I took great pride in winning these battles and in truth, I had gotten good at it. I became good at spotting the issue and applying my discipline and commitment to overcoming it. It took focus but it was worth the battle to make loving choices, right? WRONG! That is the trick…

The battle itself is just another layer of control.

I am at a stage in my relationship with myself where I know what making a loving choice feels like. For the record, this is worth celebrating and appreciating.

AND, if there is no choice to be made when I am being loving to myself, why would I slip into the battle between making or not making these choices?

Control!

The battle is just a way of feeling like I am working hard, but in reality it is just a way for me to stay locked in my mind. Winning the battle filled me with pride, of sorts, as I celebrated my ability to work through a situation and work out why I did what I did. As I say, this awareness is a good first step and it used to be enough, but not lately.

So, if a loving choice is not really a choice, but I chose control, what am I really in control of?

I am controlling how long I can delay reconnecting to a way of living where there is no choice, only a loving way to support myself.

In essence, I am prolonging my misery, even though I am convinced I am working for my best interest. This is crazy, backwards logic but that’s the point… it may be a kind of logic, but it is not love of any kind.

My level of connection actually precedes and determines the choices I have. SO choosing those things that support me in that connection, things like conscious presence, esoteric yoga, the Gentle Breath Meditation, all assist in reducing the battle that would otherwise ensue.

So now I know, if there is a hint of battle, I have dropped my connection: if there is any sustained battle, I am prolonging my own misery and in those moments, I am jumping back onto the merry-go-round of control.

I am forever inspired by the life and work of Serge Benhayon.

By Joel Levin

Further Reading:
~
First Time Mum: Realising Control is just too much Hard Work
~ Learning to Let Go of Control Over Life to Being Open to People
~ Using the Gentle Breath Meditation to Develop Conscious Presence

1,336 thoughts on “What are we Really in Control of?

  1. So much wisdom in what you share here Joel, thank you. I really resonated with much of what you shared here, especially this line – “I am controlling how long I can delay reconnecting to a way of living where there is no choice, only a loving way to support myself.” – I was like ouch, check, get it. So clear to me that is what I do as well. I will take this into my day today, thank you.

  2. “So now I know, if there is a hint of battle, I have dropped my connection”; in these few words Joel there is such a powerful message. The responsibility is certainly ours to make choices that support us to keep the connection with our true selves.

  3. There is so much deep healing presented in this blog Joel. To be aware of the loving choices that are simply listening to our body and the controlled choice of being a slave to our mind, without even realising it is so.
    “So in one instance, there is almost no real choice, when it is a loving choice – it just is. And in the other, when it is a controlled choice – there is this inner battle”.

  4. This is a great blog to come back to. Now I am sensing control as an unnecessary force that likes to come in to cause a bit of stir because it likes to think it is in control. I can feel how even thinking that I am going to make a loving choice has an opening for control to enter. I get a feeling how body and its movement might have a part to play in this – how it recognizes and responds to love/control.

  5. Battle is such a great word for the control, frustration, annoyance and so on… the inner battle that expectations we have are not being met speaks volumes, and it is this battle that will spill out to the world in how we express if it is not curtailed.

  6. While we hold ourselves in the battle of our mind we do not allow our body to surrender, to relax, and simply enjoy being itself. Why is it that we have a life where we want to have, be, do, see, all of which needs our body to be a part of? As Joel shares here maintaining the simple steady connection with our body allows our lives to be filled with our essence, to know it as who we are, and feel the truth of what our body needs to support it so that our essence can live within it.

  7. Now this is a quote that ought to be put on our fridges as it says it as it is– ” if there is a hint of battle, I have dropped my connection: if there is any sustained battle, I am prolonging my own misery and in those moments, I am jumping back onto the merry-go-round of control.” Beautifully said Joel.

    1. Indeed it is beautiful said, but is actually the sad story of us all, in being unaware of us using the mechanics of control, which keeps us in that merry-go-round we currently think human life is used to be.

  8. Yes the battle for control. This is such familiar territory! Thinking we have it all worked out yet avoiding the number one element that we all crave so much – connection with another that comes firstly with the connection to oneself.

  9. It is the control of the spirit over our lives we feel, who in its pursuit to live its ideals and beliefs, is regardless feeding us with the opposite to what we feel deep inside is not okay.

  10. “Control is the part that says, “Life has to be a certain way for it to be right, feel right, look right.” A lot of us use control to feel safe and ensure that we don’t actually evolve within ourselves. I know that I wouldn’t have called myself an overly controlling person, however, I can see how I use controlling behaviours with myself and others, so I don’t have to feel what is sometime really there for us to feel, learn and grow from.

  11. As deepening my level of surrendering I could feel how much control was still there. So used we can be to be in control that it looks like a natural flow but it isn’t at all.
    The breathing through the nose in and out is very helpful and the focus feeling the heart and surrendering to my own body in every moment. I can feel there is a new level waiting for me, more me.

  12. Gosh do we want to control or what, I see it within myself and those behaviours of others, but why do we have a propensity to do this, my sense it is to keep us protected and in comfort. We don’t want to let go of or really feel how life can be if we did just let go of the reins and allowed our true selves to run the show, not the diminished version of ourselves.

  13. This is very well put Joel –”So now I know, if there is a hint of battle, I have dropped my connection: if there is any sustained battle, I am prolonging my own misery and in those moments, I am jumping back onto the merry-go-round of control.” Most of us are so used to making everything into a battle, so much so that when things are easy and in a flow we think that something is wrong! We have to come to terms with the fact that we do not have to struggle through life.

  14. We are always making a choice whether that be loving, evolving and responsibility or not. What will determine that choice is your will to move towards love as you know and feel it to be.

  15. Thank you Joel, I really got the subtleties today reading your blog on the difference between battling an unloving choice or actually just being loving and aligning to the souls energy. More to explore, thanks for the awareness.

  16. When we are being controlling we almost have tunnel vision about how something or someone should look – we basically have a picture in our head that is a complete figment of our imagination and more often than not, not a realistic or practical reality.

  17. ‘The battle itself is just another layer of control’. Indeed, if we simply connect there is no battle … it seems to me the ‘battle’ is there because it constantly wants to pull us away from the true connection with ourselves. As you have shared ‘if there is a hint of battle, I have dropped my connection’. Great for me to read right now.

  18. I find when I feel out of sorts or my connection drops in and out, so do the thoughts and this is then time for me to stop connect back to my movements and note that control is just a behaviour that can be let go of as simple as it is to re-connect to my body and my movements and that is a loving choice I love consistently building more and more.

  19. The antidote to control is surrender. No battle, no fight, just simple, loving, non-judgemental observations about the choices we make and absolute honesty about how they feel in our bodies.

  20. This week I am confronted with ‘control’ in every aspect of my life and making myself less is one of them, as I feel how I avoid to surrender to all there is, it keeps me in comfort but at the same time there is an inside battle going on that brings me nothing but harm and not only to myself but to everyone.
    “So in one instance, there is almost no real choice, when it is a loving choice – it just is. And in the other, when it is a controlled choice – there is this inner battle”. It is all about surrendering to my body and just listening.

  21. ‘I am controlling how long I can delay reconnecting to a way of living where there is no choice, only a loving way to support myself’. This is a great awareness to share with us Joel so that we are under no illusion, as to how deeply harming it is when we indulge in our controlling behaviours.

  22. Joel the next step on from this
    “I am controlling how long I can delay reconnecting to a way of living where there is no choice, only a loving way to support myself.”
    Is to know that in lovingly supporting myself this way of being naturally flows from our bodies and then it is not about us but all others so that everyone has the choice to feel the love we carry in our bodies and know that they come from the same love too.

  23. When we let go of control, through making loving choices we get to be able to truly feel our body and through that connection let it guide us to what supports us best.

  24. From my observation we are in control of absolutely nothing , the moment we seek control we are lost in our head in stories and picture as to how our ideals and beliefs want things to pan out. The only sense of control we have ,is command over our free will , to be inspired by our will or give our will away ( power give away ).

  25. ‘So now I know, if there is a hint of battle, I have dropped my connection’ and ‘My level of connection actually precedes and determines the choices I have’. So how essential then to sustain a connection and continually allow ourselves more awareness to support the deepening of that connection.

  26. Thank you Joel. You expose so clearly that when we think we have to control anything we do, say or think we have already lost connection to the energy of love where the truth just is.

  27. It’s great to chat about control and the impacts this version of life can have. We pick up control or bring it in to stop something, to stop a feeling or being aware of something that is already there. We would rather ‘try’ and make things a certain way rather than allowing them to flow how they truly need to. We seem to always run the narrative of something bad happening and this justifies the control when in fact grabbing something like this breaks what is a natural flow of life. There is no end to control and only when we see it for what it is and allow ourselves to breathe the next part do we see that life naturally isn’t like this.

  28. Yes the ‘sustained battle’ is a choice to delay what is naturally there to feel and live. There are so many forms of control, some seemingly subtle and some obvious, nevertheless all designed to distract us away from getting on with living true…

  29. I find that through the appreciation of the sensitivity in my body I am learning to discern the many layers of control that I still hold in my life, just the simple awarensss of how this plays out has been enough to allow my body to observe and surrender to what is there instead of going into protection in my body and wanting to control the outcome.

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