From very early in a person’s life, they find themselves in control of many experiences and situations. Some are normal, like their choice of fashion or taste in music, however some are much deeper and subconscious. While control can be a very empowering and uplifting attribute to someone’s life, it can also be very negative. This is usually the type of control that is purely situational — when something is happening in your life that should be out of your control, however you still try to grasp it . This is when control needs to be relinquished.
There is no easy formula to removing this control. If there were, I wouldn’t be writing this right now and you wouldn’t be in the situation that you are in where you need to be reading it. There may not be an easy fix, but I have come to realize that in order to relinquish something you need to accept something else first. The two go hand in hand. If you don’t accept life’s situations, then you can’t release the control over them. When I find myself overthinking or overcontrolling a situation, I remind myself of these three points: The three points of acceptance.
1. Life is about the journey, not the destination.
You’ve heard it a hundred thousand times in your life — and there’s a reason why. Miley Cyrus wasn’t playing when she told you life is about the climb. Think back on the last time you went on a hike, regardless of how long, high or treacherous it may have been. Remember the different emotions you felt. The adrenaline flowing through your body, your laborious breaths, the sweat dripping along your spine. How much more satisfying was the view from the top after the climb? Would you have appreciated it more without the struggle to get there?
Mountain tops are merely physical metaphors for life.
You can not truly appreciate any peak without the climb to get there. You have to go through the blood, sweat and tears to get there and to truly appreciate the outcome.
There is no one mountain in your life; you are constantly climbing different mountains of different heights and different structures. If you focus merely on the peaks you will never truly appreciate it as much as you could. If you embrace the whole climb, the view will be better.
2. There are no shortcuts in life.
If life is a journey, then there is a path. Whether it is paved already or whether you need to pave it yourself, there is still a path. This is the path to travel and the only path to travel.
If you spend your whole life trying to create a different, easier or quicker path, then you are only digging yourself into a hole of frustration.
Take dating, for example. You meet someone and within two days you are already planning your wedding in the Bahamas. You want the outcome you’ve been dreaming about your whole life so badly that you are willing to try anything to get it as quickly as possible. You start altering the path and ultimately create dead ends.
If you have the patience to travel the path you are meant to without looking for shortcuts, you’ll appreciate the destination more. Just because the journey may be long doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.
You can take as many breaks as you need and take as many people along the journey with you as long as you do not veer off the path.
If you are meant to get from A to B, it won’t matter how long it takes. It could take a day, a week or even a year—sometimes even a lifetime. It doesn’t matter how long it takes though, because if you are meant to reach that destination, you will, as long as you are patient and trust the path you travel down.
3. You are not the pilot of your life, you are the passenger.
In your personal life, everyone else is the pilot. Your parents, your significant other, your boss, your friends. They are all the pilots in the situations you experience daily. This does not mean that you cannot do anything, that they dictate your whole life. It means that they are taking you on a journey just as you are taking them on one in their life.
You cannot force the people around you to think, feel or act the same way as you. They are their own people and you are your own person. You were made to coexist with people, not exist as one. You were made to be different and you were made to adapt to the differences of others. But ultimately, you were made to need others.
Once you accept that you can not drive relationships or situations by yourself, you will enjoy the journey much more.
It’s normal to try and take control of your life, the situations you’re living in, and the people around you. This is not something new and you are definitely not alone in this. Accepting cold hard truth can be terrifying because it is accepting that you cannot do everything and that some things are out of your control. Accepting that not all control is positive is the first step to relinquishing it and accepting facts of life that I guarantee will make your life much easier.