8-23-20 Control


Addicts may be better defined by an obsessive quest for control than by the compulsive use of a specific behavior or substance. An addiction is only a symptom of our problem. We use an addiction to mask and fog over what is really creating our sense of feeling unworthy or fearful, and we need to find somewhere to hide. We are trying to control by using avoidance techniques. As addicts, we try to fill a hole in ourselves that’s only imaginary; but no matter what we try to fill it with, it stays empty. Our misguided attempts to satisfy the vacuum can lead to alternate addictions. In other words, we try to fill, to control, one hole in the yard with dirt from the yard, thereby creating another hole. 

True recovery is the end of this delusional digging. We must begin to touch a deeper, more spiritual sense of ourselves and the world in order to live with reality. We must recognize what our addiction is, accept it, and face it honestly and directly. We will come to understand the need for changing our perceptions of ourselves and others, our outlook, and our notion of what will truly bring us happiness.  

What does it mean to “play God?” It means living under the delusion that life is somehow in our control. With enough effort, we can get life to do what we want it to. When this doesn’t happen, we may try to control, dull the pain of failure with booze, pills, eating, TV, overwork, or any other method of numbing ourselves to our chosen reality. We feel frustrated, and may isolate or act out. 

We try to control things because of what we think will happen if we don’t. The need to control is a result of being attached to a specific outcome—an outcome we’re sure is best, as if we always know what’s best for us and everyone else. In other words, the desire for control is rooted in fear.

So…if our addiction is control, when we try to give up control, we may think that when we do give up control, then we will be able to control things!

But reality cannot be controlled, because there is nothing outside of reality to do the controlling. To admit your reality, to acknowledge your addiction, is the first step toward acting responsibly in accord with it. With it, not against it. You have to admit you are playing the control game to begin moving past it.

“To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem. To meditate means to observe. Our responses come either from fear or love, and we can learn to recognize the difference by asking ourselves what’s our motivation. In a way, intuition tells us whether our responses are creative and intuitive, or reactive, negative and controlling. Intuition is necessary for overcoming intellectual limitation and conceptual fixation.” Srimati

We can train our minds, to perceive ourselves honestly and promote kindness and a sense of being worthy, strong, competent people. It is said that the only thing I can control is my attitude and my reaction to what happens. Perhaps a better way of putting that is to cultivate our minds to be calmer, kinder and more honest.

“Because I cannot control the wind does not mean I cannot tap into its power. Just because I can’t control my life doesn’t mean I can’t live it honorably and with compassion. Living honorably and feeling compassion are two of the virtues I cultivate, which opens and enriches the world I live in and how I feel about myself. I learn to make better choices through not trying to control.”  Recovery:  The Sacred Art by Rami Shapiro

As Magellan sailed around the world, he understood he could not control the ocean.  Instead, he had an intellectual understanding of how the ocean worked.  He had to be flexible, accept, and work with what presented itself to him each day of his journey.  Magellan was not able to sail in a straight line; there were currents, storms, and reefs that he had to be navigate. He Chose his best course of action according to what actually existed, not what he wanted to be true.

We can think of ourselves like explorers in our own lives.  Do we control other people? the weather? the way our bodies assimilate food? We choose which people to engage with or to avoid, what foods we eat, and what clothes to wear. If we make these choices from our spiritual, connected, intelligent Self, they should serve us well. Our healthy choices will bring about better results, but not a guarantee, nor can we expect one. We make choices, we do not control.

When we fail at controlling life (which we will), we may see ourselves as failures.  We may then try harder and fail more until our self-image becomes very negative. We may see ourselves as bad people, or judge others as bad. When we spend all our energy maintaining the illusion of control, we have none left for honesty and appreciating the simple joys in life.

When we stop controlling, we discover something wonderful:  Nothing in the world changes, (except our frustrations), and we are no longer responsible for anyone but ourselves.

The energy of surrender accomplishes much more than the energy of control. We could not control our addiction; we needed to recognize the harm it caused and surrender to the discipline of replacing our fear with worthiness and kindness. We guide our lives through our intuition and kindness for ourselves and others. It’s not about inaction—it’s about taking action from that place of surrender energy which is love-based. You actually can work with whatever occurs.

Without suffering there is no way to cultivate understanding and compassion. We have tried the suffering thing…perhaps it is time to put that down and bravely feel the true life that we are all worthy of embracing. The sorrows, the joys, all of it is here, right now. Believe in yourself, in your sacred connection to life and others. We learn from poor decisions, don’t judge, and bravely move forward, always opening to life. 

Let go to be free and see the way forward WITH life, as it is.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.             

Heart Of Recovery web site  —  fcheartofrecovery.com