Many of us may have heard that life happens and that many of these things are out of our control. Many of us struggle with the dreaded "control issues," where we really try to control that which is uncontrollable. We may try to control events, outcomes, situations, organizations, or even other people. Many of us also know deep down that the only things in life we can control is our own self, yet this is a constant challenge for many of us.
What does this even mean, to control ourselves. Asserting our willpower seems logical, but that's not it. In truth, asserting more willpower makes us feel like we have less control, not more. Controlling our thoughts during meditation, the more we try, the more we may discover our thoughts are gaining power rather than dissipating. Perhaps controlling our emotions, but then we wind up fighting with ourselves as we discover the emotions we are attempting to control gaining power over us.
I like to think about it more like learning the difference between the internal world versus the external world. The external world is everything that exists outside of us: our identities, our personas, our roles in family, community, job title, age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, ext. The internal world is the place we go to find peace and stillness. This is the only thing I truly have control over, the decision to go within or stay without.
As we discover the world within, we find everything we are seeking, we find quietude and contentment. We discover love, acceptance and compassion. We stop being controlled by our thoughts and emotions. Everything that we truly desire is inside of us.
Then why is it so difficult to enter this realm? Why do not more people go there?
In order to enter this place within us, we must first face ourselves. In my lifetime, I have had several opportunities to do this, but the truth is it took me 20 years before I finally looked inside. It was scary in there. I was afraid of the demons I would have to face, afraid of the darkness, but also afraid of the light. I discovered I had some healing work to do, and I made peace with who I am. Now I see it as a gift. All that time I spent running away from myself, and now here I am, sitting in stillness with that same self. Loving her rather than fearing and loathing her. Working with the energy within rather than against it. And helping others discover this gift for themselves and walking along beside them as they make their own journey.