Letting Go of the Notion of Control: Understanding


With horses, I am constantly reaching new barriers that I don’t understand, and I’m always working towards breaking them down in order to get to the next barrier.  For me right now, that barrier is lead changes.  I have been working towards understanding how to do them when I want to do them, but I have been continually building my horse up just to break him down through failed experiments.  In my need for control, I try to force the changes to happen, taking about ten metaphorical steps backwards in order to control the lead changes on my terms.  This only reassures me that that approach doesn’t work, so I keep working towards understanding them through experiments and rebuilding.  Over time I will make the breakthrough, and I can’t wait for that day.

When I run across certain people, I try to understand why they do or say the things they do.  If those people do things I don’t understand, I can’t stand not knowing.  I need the control of trying to understand what is going on in that persons head.  I would start to study them and run scenarios until one day it would all come together.  Once I understand them in my mind I can become sympathetic to them or at least understand why they do what they do.  This can be a major control issue if you’re not able to figure them out because sometimes you can’t let it go. It can control your mental state until something changes in the situation with the result that they are not in your life any more.

When the attempt to understand takes control over me, I tend to do too much, finding the boundaries that I know not to try to cross ever again.  The issues always develop from my inappropriate expectations, lack of patience, or a wrong perspective.  Over time I am learning to overcome these challenges associated with my lack of understanding so that I can learn from others without pushing too hard to achieve a better understanding of them. I sit back and listening to what they are telling me through their actions, but at the same time I am able to let go of it at the end of the day.


Application to Daily Life: 

Do you ever find that you push yourself or others too far in order to understand something better?  Do you become frustrated because you had certain expectations you failed to reach in a given time period?  In these situations, if your patience, expectations, or perspective are tested, your mind will to turn to trying to understand why you failed.  In these vulnerable moments, do you have control over yourself enough let go of these thoughts, or do you start looking into why the failure occurred?  Do you start to look at your teammates or yourself with blame for in order for you to understand why you all failed?  Can you catch yourself next time before you regret taking your lack of understanding out on others or yourself and let go of the need for an immediate understanding?


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