March 7, 2020

Repeat After Me: I will Not Allow this to Control Me.

There are many things in life we can’t control.

I think most of us already know this by now. We can change what we’re having for breakfast, the time we’re taking a shower, or our appointment with the dentist. However, we can’t control the traffic, death, someone’s actions, the weather, or the past.

And it’s funny. Because everything that we’re unable to control ends up controlling us in one way or another.

We’ve all been there. We all experience agony, confusion, and worry on a daily basis because of something that is out of our hands.

It happened to me this morning. A situation that I can’t control has gotten the best of me—and it wasn’t the first time. It appeared as if someone has inserted a video tape—which I have seen a million times previously—into my mind: my heart rate increased, my breathing was rapid, I started overthinking, I started worrying, and I ended up with a series of ludicrous thoughts that have almost ruined my day.

But then, I stopped. I’ve been there several times before (and a few times because of that situation in particular). I asked myself whether I want to be in this condition again or make a step forward.

Then some sort of mantra came crashing in into my mind amidst its silence:

“I will not allow this to control me.”

And I repeated it. I repeated it all day long until I calmed down and trusted the natural flow of things. I trusted that things will be okay even if I can’t control them. And worrying about them won’t do me or others good.

How many times a day do we “allow” situations, people, and things to annoy us? Anything we hear, see, or experience can bring us utter disturbance if we permit it.

The first thing that reacts to an outer trouble is our bodies. It might be a little tough to control our emotional reactions, at first, because of the fight-or-flight response system. However, if we let it naturally pass on its own, then we can determine our position.

What position are you taking? Are you the victim of a circumstance or the creator of a new one?

When we choose to be a victim, we choose the same story over and over again. We go for pain and distress because they’re our comfort zone. Since we’ve experienced them before in a similar situation, we know it’s safe and harmless.

That said, creating a new circumstance might be threatening. It’s a new place with new emotions, new perspectives, and a whole different scenario.

What I have realized this morning when I almost allowed myself to be a victim is my refusal to accept things. With my non-acceptance to the situation, the situation itself has turned on me. I was vulnerable while everyone and everything connected to my suffering was in control.

Know that we are strong when we accept the uncontrollable. We might think that overthinking or ruminating on a problem means taking action. Perhaps we could find a solution or make things better in our heads. But, sometimes, not doing anything is an action in itself.

Letting things be when something bigger than us is out of our control is the only solution. I’m convinced that the sole control we can exert is upon ourselves. When we sort things properly within, the things without can’t control us.

Determine what will and won’t affect you. Know your power and use it. The only path to happiness is the one that includes making the right choices.

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