Am I In Control?

The last two weeks have come and gone and no post was made. This post a week thing was harder than I expected. I have recently come to the realization as to why I just could not make a post (not like it is a big surprise for me)…perfectionism and control. I believe what I write has to be perfect and greatly impact ALL my readers. I have to word everything correctly, not being to general or specific so that it can apply to as many people as possible. This is not life. I am not perfect. I do not have control over how you or anyone feels about this or reacts to it. This is for me. A space to express whatever floats through my mind.

I’ve been learning a lot lately, with school back in session, that it seems hard to harness my thoughts into any form of comprehension by anyone else. One constant lesson I have been reminded of, though, is control and how little of it I have. I recently started reading the book, “Recovery: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice” by Rami Shapiro. Within in the first few pages, Shapiro outlines the three premises underlying the book, that instantly drew me in.

“First, it is the obsessive quest for control rather than the compulsive use of a specific substance or behavior that defines an addict. Second, most of us are addicts seeking to play God by trying to control our lives and the lives of those who touch ours. And third, the Twelve Steps can be of service to all of us since we are all addicted to the delusion of control.”

I believe in each of the points he makes. These days in my recovery it is not the specific substance I crave anymore (thank God!) or the specific substance that makes my life seems unmanageable. It is when I believe that I can control the circumstances around me and/or the people around me, that my life begins to feel unmanageable and eventually out of my control. Effectively starting the cycle over again of admitting defeat, handing it over, getting a sense of serenity back, taking back some control, then spinning out again. Around and Around I go. I will say each cycle gets easier to recognize and somewhat shorter, depending on the circumstances surrounding it. This delusion of control I live in is usually solved by reaching out to those around me who guide me in my recovery. They give me feedback and remind me to PRAY. They also remind me to not take myself to seriously.

Recently my mother posted this picture on our fridge.

What if the Hokey Pokey is what it’s all about? Fun, Joy, Positivity, Happiness, spinning yourself around…My life today consists of many things I am grateful for and many people who I am grateful for. When I allow myself to get busy with my day-to-day tasks I begin to take these miracles for granted. Simple signs like this, or quotes like the one I’ve listed below, help to take a step back and recognize that today I have an amazing life with all of its imperfections.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded in our thoughts. It is made up of our thoughts. If  one speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows one, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the wagon” (Dhammapada 1:1).


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