Amazingly, this is a photo of all of the remote controls we once had in our house. Of course, we didn’t have this many TVs at once, and a few of these belonged to television sets that no longer resided in our house. But as is the case still today, any one TV may require 2-3 remotes to get it to do what you want it to.
This photo got me thinking about how many figurative remote controls I carry with me at any given time. I surely have a few at work, some at home, a couple with friends and members of my community. These are in my holster, at the ready, at all times. I pull them out when something arises that causes me to be concerned, or afraid, or mad, or worried. I have come to ‘trust’ in my ability to predict and control, even though things don’t always turn out as I anticipate. For me trying to maintain a sense of control takes a lot of work, and robs me of energy that I could be using in more enjoyable endeavors.
At those times when I have been aware that I have a choice to use one of my remote controls, or instead, simply navigate through what is unfolding, navigation most often works better for me. I find that I have a greater ability to be present, set aside judgments, and just surrender into the emotion of acceptance.
If you feel as if you are holding on by your fingernails, trying to control all that happens to you and those you care about, try loosening your grip. See what happens. Does disaster arise? Try it again next time. See what happens. How does this change the behavior of those around you? Maybe what you start feeling is relief…
And remember, Awareness->Choice->Practice allows us to design new ways of being in the world. Trying to retain control is our default position. This will not shift overnight.