“You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.”
― Rumi, The Essential Rumi
Since the beginning…
Ahhh, Rumi. Nothing has changed since he wrote these words sometime in the 1200’s. We’re still struggling with this. Still trying to figure out how let go of the need to control everything.
This applies to more than just how the silverware is arranged in the kitchen drawer or the best way to hang the toilet paper. This applies to how we want our problems to be solved, how we want our children to behave, how we want traffic to move, and more.
It’s still not working,
And there’s a cost.
You get so frustrated when things don’t go your way. Sometimes you even get angry. You lash out at others, which only pushes them away. So maybe you got your spouse to organize the silverware “just right,” or your kids finally took the classes you wanted them to.
Only your behaviors that came out of the need to control everything have pushed everyone away. Your spouse is resentful of the drama and your kids are compliant but not loving. And you’re not really happy either. Sure you got your way, yet getting what you wanted didn’t make you happy like you thought it would.
Let go of the need to control everything
When you feel like you need to control everything, you’re most likely acting out of fear. Maybe you’re not even afraid of what will happen if you switch around the forks and the spoons, but you’re afraid of not making your mortgage payment that’s due in two days. And you don’t know how to ask for help.
By arguing and being controlling, you’ve stepped out of a state of grace. To step back in and let the ocean carry you, all you have to do is relax and feel the support underneath you. Once you do that, you won’t care where the knives are and you can have an honest conversation with your kid. And suddenly, you’re all happy.
You thought being in control was the key to happiness, but really it’s the surrender that got you there.
Some of my favorite spots of inspiration to get me through these moments:
- Tosha Silver – Outrageous Openness and anything else she writes
- Alfie Kohn – all his work is amazing, but this book is aimed specifically at parents
- Tao Te Ching – an ancient text that is just as relevant today as it ever was
Because they come up over and over and over.