Letting someone else do it their own way.
Recognizing that perfect doesn’t exist.
Understanding that no matter how much I try to change a situation,
it may very well never change.
I have a hard time giving up control. Well, in all honestly, I’ve gotten better at it but letting go of a situation or a thought so that it can work out the way it’s supposed to is sometimes difficult for me.
This morning, I got up, did some laundry, organized the kitchen, and sat down at my laptop to work on more book revisions. Sounds like a reasonable morning, right? What I didn’t say was that the first thing I did was check my book sales.
It was a stupid thing to do and I know better than to check them every day (sometimes several times a day), but I just can’t help myself. Why? There’s this little thing inside me that’s somehow convinced that if I check the stats, it’ll change things. And that if I don’t check the stats, I’ll make sales fall out of favor for me, or in some way change the Path Of The Universe that will, in turn, jinx me.
I do this with other things, too. Another person may not clean the house the way I want to clean the house. Or fold the laundry the way I prefer. Or cook the way I cook…write the way I write…read the way I read…interpret the way I interpret.
Sensing a pattern here?
The irony of wanting to control a situation or person is that you can’t and you know you can’t, and yet you still try. Last week I wrote a post about forgiveness, and in that post I talked about how we all come from our own personal space, and that if we are to forgive we have to understand that there is a middle ground somewhere to help us get to that forgiving place. Well, control is kind of like that, too. No matter how much I encourage (sometimes demand?) someone in the house to fold laundry a certain way, they’re going to do it the way they’re comfortable. Same thing with cooking a meal or editing a story or taking photos with a new camera…you get the picture. (ha! pun intended!)
More than that, there’s only so much you can control. As a writer, I can control what I write and how I write and when I write. I can control where I promote and how I promote and when I promote. After that? There’s not much else I can do. I can only sit back and hope that things turn out well and recognize that if they don’t, well, maybe there’s a Bigger, Better Master Plan out there for me. I just have to give it the time to work out, however it will be.
So what does this all mean? It means I’ve still got more learning to do, and with that accepting that trying to control is a freaky, silly thing that gets me nowhere. And somewhere in this semi-nugget of wisdom (that took me this entire post to figure out) is a mindful practice waiting to be integrated into my life…
…Like taking a deep breath the next time something isn’t going my way, sitting back, and just accepting the situation for what it is, knowing that I’ve done all I could.
And then focusing on what I can change and moving on.
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