I have been getting a lot of messages lately either through songs I have been listening too, conversations I have had or stories I have been told about the dangers of holding on too tightly. It is a tough lesson and I thought maybe the universe was telling me I needed to look at it a little closer.
I admit I am a control freak. I like to know what is going on, when it is going to happen, and if I can how it will take place. Lately, I have been re-learning the lesson that really much of my life is out of my control. Yes, I try to pretend that I am in control, I try to delude myself in to thinking that I am the master of my fate. And then the universe reminds me that there are many, many things I can’t control: other people, our health, bad news, good fortune, bad luck, timing, etc. I can try to have a grip on my day, week or life but in reality the harder I grasp on to control the more challenging and difficult life becomes.
A great example for me that I have noticed a lot recently is my need to rush from thing to thing. My need to control my schedule to the minute. Yes, there are places I need to be and client appointments I need to make but many of my ‘deadlines’ and ‘timelines’ are self made. And as I scramble to make sure I make it through the grocery store in record time so I can eat my lunch at the predetermined time I realize I am rushing for no reason. Much of my life I try to control for no reason other than the desire to control. Lately I have been loosening my grip (or at least trying to). Some of this loosening is due to my surgery last week and being forced to relax some and some of it is due to the repeated awareness of how tightly I am gripping my day to day life for no reason. You know what? The world doesn’t collapse if I get off schedule, if I don’t get everything on my to do list done, if I spend more time talking with my best friend and therefore don’t get my garden weeded. So when I catch myself tied up in knots because I am trying to control every aspect of my life I realize life is bigger than my having control. I literally take a breath and take the proverbial weight of the world off my shoulders and life becomes happier.
Another area where our grip gets tight is in relationships. The need to control someone else is deadly to a relationship. Rather than respecting someone where they are and allowing them to be themselves we try to make them into who we think they should be or who would best serve our needs. The relationships I see that are the most toxic are the ones in which one partner has a death grip on the other. When we try to control, manipulate, pigeon hole or suffocate our friends/partners we are doing a disservice to ourselves and those we love. The best relationships I know are the ones where we loosen our grip so much that we give each other the ability to fly and we both choose to always return home.
Where do you need to loosen your grip?