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The Illusion of Control

September 2, 2012

Did you know that letting go of the illusion of control brings with it great relief?  There was a time in my life when I really thought I could control the world from my living room.  I knew what you needed to do by gosh, and I was going to tell you just how to do it.  This created stress because I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.  What if things didn’t go as planned? Not only did I feel responsible for myself but I felt responsible for everyone else as well.   Often, the expectations I had of others was not based on reality and the outcomes I projected did not happen which set me up for constant disappointment.  If only everyone did things my way, the world would be perfect!  Wow, talk about illusions.

Much has been written about the Art of Allowing (Abraham-Hicks) and Non-interference (Goguen and Meseguer) and these concepts are also well-known in the self-help community and Buddhist religion.   In our short-term gratification society, allowing others to just  be who they are, to let them take their time, and to not interfere can feel painstaking.  It takes practice and patience to let go, to discontinue controlling and to allow others to just be who they are and do what they do without us trying to hurry and direct them, but here is the thing;  Control is only an illusion anyway!  People do what they want in the end. 

Trying to control, giving unsolicited advice, and  manipulating someone to do things your way may initially make it seem like things get done faster, better and more efficiently because you are in charge, but who likes being told what to do and how to do it? Do you like it when someone tells you what you need to do and how you need to do it?   Trying to control others causes resentment and repels people from you.

The art of allowing (and yes, it is an art) is the practice of letting those around you make their own decisions and mistakes and to experience the consequences of their own behavior, both positive and negative, without your intervention and attempts to control them.   By not interfering, people find out on their own what works best for them and what does not.  Non-interference empowers others to recognize that they can successfully make their own choices and decisions, and that they are capable and competent.

What a relief it is to let people be who they are!  You begin to experience peace of mind when you practice allowing and non-interference, and you feel as though you are going with the flow of the universe instead of against it.  Because you are not trying to control another or create a specific outcome, you are free to live in the moment and experience what is happening right now.   You become a magnet for others because they know you do not have a hidden agenda and they are free to be who they are when they are with you.  You will find you have so much more time to create your amazing life when you are focused on yourself.  What a gift to give yourself and others….and remember, Optimists Rock!

Copyright  2012   Robin B. O’Grady

Facebook: The Optimists Edge

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