Monday, February 10, 2014

Long ago, I gave up on control

Control is an interesting concept, but for many who have tried it, we find that control is an illusion. We try to control our weight, but many times our weight confounds us. We try to control our schedule, but, as John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans." We try to control other people, but other people have other plans. We try to control our own behavior only to find that our subconscious has still other plans.

Control over anything is an illusion. The heartbeat, the digestive process, the thinking process, or just an itch - all of it is really beyond complete control. I can guide it, but there is so much stuff going on before I make the decision to move my hand, I'm really just a facilitator. I depend upon the cooperation of all the cells in my body to do what my brain says to do. As long as those cells cooperate, I live.

Going a few orders of magnitude deeper, I am, like you, composed of a buzzing cloud of countless electrons, protons and neutrons. Each particle in my body is subject to quantum mechanics. Each particle is there and not really there. It is only the consciousness that notices that I'm here. Each atom is comprised of 99% empty space. The analogy is that if the nucleus of a hydrogen atom were the size of a basketball, the orbiting electron would be about 20 miles away. We're much ado about nothing when it comes down to it.

So when I see my daughter crying over teething pain, I know that control is of no use here. It is only when I have the ability to accept what I see and help Emily work through the painful introduction to a new lower canine tooth, that I can surrender control. Once I surrender control, I can finally be of service as a comforter, a facilitator, a soothsayer.

When I read the news and see the suffering around the globe, the nonsensical violence, the outrageous corruption, the enormous damage humans do to the environment, and the bile that is strewn across the internet in every direction, I just have to remember to breathe. I can take heart that when I do want to exercise control, I find that I can err on the side of peace, with supreme ease, if I choose to do it. I do it because I know the pain of doing otherwise. For to impose my will upon others is just an obstacle, a challenge to them, that they will surely rise to meet.

Once I admit that I am powerless over the pain in the world, maybe again, I can help to bring peace to the world by being peaceful myself and sharing that with others.
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