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?


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

1,430 thoughts on “What are we Really in Control of?

  1. Control has everything to do with managing our levels of feeling happiness, validity, acceptance and important and general ‘OKness’ through the pictures and ideals that we pitch ourselves to and measure ourselves up against with our minds. Yet as you have shared, in all of this effort where the focus is on externalisation, we negate the power and freedom of living in connection to our essence, to our inner-heart, to be guided by the impulse of our Soul, where we know not only who we are but also all that we belong to.

  2. I noticed how much I can use organisation as a form of control. I am a super organised person and it comes very naturally for me but how I use that skill can vary. When I use organisation as a form of control, it can have an edge of panic around, like trying to keep everything in its place, organise it within an inch of its life so I am quite the girl scout and super prepared for anything, it feels in my body very rigid and draining. When I use my organisational skills to support what is needed, then it feels much lighter and energising in my body.

  3. I agree how control is ever so deeply entrenched. Control is anyway you are not surrendering — If I am forever knowing, then, not holding back what I absolutely honestly feel is it …

  4. What a massive revelation Joel. Exposing the games we are so invested in to keep ourselves in the same cycle as to not evolve.

  5. When we try to control everything we are uptight, rigid and inflexible and in that we all too easily dismiss anything that does not align with our point of view… unfortunately even if it is the truth. I have to add I feel like I am only beginning to realise how debilitating control is and how much it erodes our potential.

  6. “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.” This is such a great marker for us to know when we are off track, thanks for the insight Joel.

  7. I love the simplicity of what is shared here, if we do not have connection with us we can go into battle, good or bad and make choices based on that, but if we’re just connected with ourselves it’s not even a question. And all the while we’re just delaying, a great reminder of what control is really about.

  8. Stop moment after stop moment in this blog Joel. The same energy is at play when we are in control that is at play when when we eat the wrong food. Same, same just different flavour.

  9. So true Joel, ‘…if there is a hint of battle, I have dropped my connection’. In my experience with food, if I crave something that doesn’t support my body then I have dropped my connection way before I have the craving. It is very interesting to then observe and trace my steps back to pin point when this occurred and to understand why. One of the keys to avoid going into an internal battle in my head is to observe what is really going on.

    1. Absolutely Gabriele, these are sure signs that we have stepped away from our connection to our essence and being guided by our loving quality within that knows how harmony is lived.

  10. It is a huge surprise to me that we want to be in so much control all the time. I always thought of myself as an easy going sort of person, but not a bit of it. I have shocked myself as I wake myself up to feel just how much I do control life and how uncomfortable I feel when something is taken out of my control. This is a huge topic to discuss, so thanks from bringing up.

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