Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Control Issues

Deep down, I think everyone wants to feel in control - to feel powerful. We live in a world that is out of balance leaving us struggling  as we try to overcome the entropy. I saw a quote the other day "some women find nudity empowering, others find modesty empowering. It's not our job to tell them which is right for them." Most of us have traumatic experiences to some degree of severity in our childhoods that we carry with us: indelible reminders of our lack of control.
Very few of us take the best possible path towards finding peace in the chaos but the important thing is to keep moving and learning from the mistakes and the wins. Some choose drugs to dull the anguish or give themselves a chemical feeling of wellness and power. Others blank it out with alcohol. Some use sex as a drug and a tool to manipulate others to achieve dominance. If you boil it all down though, I believe it's just people trying to cope with feeling insignificant and vulnerable in the world.

Anger comes from two things (as far as I can tell): when you feel like something isn't going your way, or when you see injustice (which is sort of a subset of the first category). I was angry with someone recently and my girlfriend pointed out that I did a great job in the discussion till one point when suddenly, I sounded like a child. After pondering my thoughts for a few minutes, I realized that I had felt like this person was trying to say they had control of my life. I've been able to calm down about it because I've realized that everyone has control. As I've quoted before, Jack Sparrow says it best "there's only two things that matter, what a man can do, and what a man can't do." In essence he is saying "everyone can do what they want but there are consequences. Consider the consequences before you act." 

Unfortunately, I didn't think about all the consequences of my actions when I was younger because I didn't think I had any other options. We like to complain and whine about how we are so exploited by big corporations, the government etc, but the truth is to a large extent, we don't want to deal with the consequences of changing our bit of reality or possibly we don't see the options. It's probably inconvenient, possibly dangerous and maybe even illegal but if you want change, you have to change first. (For the record, when I say illegal, I'm not taking about shooting up police stations, but things like smoking pot or living off the grid in states where it's against the law). 

A character in Jurassic World said "you can't be truly happy until you realize that you aren't in control". It's a paradox. While realizing and accepting your lack of control, you gain a feeling of power. What happens is you adjust your expectations and instead of trying to control the vast world around you, you focus on controlling your reactions and choices which is a battle you can win. The only way to help bring more balance to the world is for each of us to do find peace in ourselves, accepting the consequences or fruit of our actions. We won't be able to have leaders who are level headed, good, honest people if they are corrupted by need. It's pretty hard to buy someone who doesn't have a desire to be "somebody" or "live the life". Not saying it's bad to be rich or famous but if that is your goal in life, you are probably in for a lot of unhappiness. Trying to bend the world to your whims in an effort to feel valuable in society is about as effective as trying to bail a leaking submarine. 

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