Take Control!

I think I can control things.  Well, maybe.  I suppose to some small extent I can.  My actions right here, right now – that sort of thing.  But then, so much history and behavioral conditioning seems to overwhelm me.  Sometimes I am completely stuck.  I waver, second guess and fear takes control – not me.  You could say I choose that. I want to say that I choose that. What I have been taught says the ‘blame’ for my life lies within my choices.  I chose that.  But is it control when you choose things you don’t really want when you are choosing them? That seems out of control to me.  Or am I deep down looking for destruction?  And if so, is that not part of my behavioral conditioning? How do I just throw that off.  I think there are lots of people who don’t, can’t despite lots of trying.  This isn’t about cutting, or drinking, or orgies or clandestine meetings with seedy people.  This is just ordinary every day stuff that ordinary every day people struggle with (well, they probably struggle with the things above, too,… some of them).  Why do I let so and so treat me that way?  Why do I stay in the job I hate?  Why don’t I ‘pursue my dreams’? Why do I overeat despite clear goals and victory in site?  You know what I am talking about.

I’m not looking for people to blame for my lack of contentment with some of my life’s decisions.  My impotence to act on things I want to act on – or not act on. I am just asking questions about control.  The 80’s seemed to me to be a lot about control.  Seize your future, The Magic of Thinking Big – that title still irritates me – I guess there is some magic in how our thinking drives our actions, but perhaps the sense of control I was taught I should have, I could have if only I ‘got it’ still plagues me. Why is it so hard to ‘get’? Why can’t I just blindly “think big”?  “think positive’ ‘change my future’ ‘be powerful’? I don’t understand it.  I’m a pretty positive, happy person.  Still, I doubt. A lot. ..about my power to choose, to control. If you were at my Body Pump class today you would have heard me encouraging the class to finish the shoulder work with “Steady your mind.  If you think you can’t make it.  You won’t. If you think you can, you have a chance.”  We made it.  I made it. (with great effort and steading of my mind)  Why can’t all of life be like the shoulder track in Body Pump. (HA! Well, I suppose that’s a good thing, because I would describe it as “short and intense”.  I guess I really don’t want THAT!)

I think it boils down to pain and suffering.  It strikes me odd that pain and suffering would happen only to people who haven’t willed it away. People who “control their destinies”… Doesn’t it make you wonder?  Am I the only crazy dissident?  Are all the people who die horrible deaths, endure horrible lives just victims of their inability to be more positive? I guess that’s what I really want to know. Where DOES the blame lie? And, I guess, does there HAVE to be blame?  And do we NEED all that control?

I kind of feel like a bystander watching the hippie put the flower in the barrel of a gun might have felt (google it if you are too young to remember.  The photo is famous).  It must have seemed so absurd.  So ineffective.  What is THAT going to solve?? But what if we let go, just a little.  What if we worried less about controlling things and more about experiencing them with the people involved.  Most things anyway.  Not the horrible deaths. Not the horrible lives.  No one should experience that.

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Post Script:  I dictated this note to myself this morning.  How easily I forget my own advice!
“On controlling .  . you don’t ever know what’s going to happen! so just keep giving the best part of you or sharing the best parts of you, and try not to worry so much about the worst parts of you.”

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