Control is highly overrated. As humans, we run around trying to control everything and everyone in our lives, all the while creating chaos and misery in our relationships with others. For some, taking control is the only way to get things done just exactly the way they foresee the end result. Mindfulness is not a part of their vocabulary when their vision seeks only “my way” results.
In his article Mindfulness is Control in Psychology Today, Tim Carey claims it takes control to give up control. Carey explains his point of view through helping us understand what control and mindfulness have in common. He says, “Control involves perceiving the state of something, having an expectation of what the state of that something should be, and making sure the current state matches the expected state.” (Note to reader- Try explaining that to a two-year-old!) Carey draws on Melli O’Brian’s website www.mrsmindfulness.com, to further explain, “Mindfulness involves directing attention to focus on the present moment and pay attention to experiences as they arise without judging them in any way. Whenever you see a word like ‘directing’ it’s a sure sign that a control process is lurking nearby. Mindfulness control requires nonjudgment meaning that we must pay attention to our thoughts and feelings with the attitude of an impartial witness—without believing them or taking them personally.” Alas, we may have found the missing ingredient in the original recipe for control.
Here are 11 principles of Mindfulness highlighted by Lisa Martin on Ideapod.com, that will help us navigate this new territory of mindfulness control:
- A negative thought is harmless unless you believe it.
- You will not be punished FOR your anger; you will be punished BY it.
- Inner peace is knowing how to belong to oneself, without external validation.
- Everything is created twice, first in your mind and then in your life.
- There is a wilderness you walk alone, however well accompanied you are.
- To strongly believe in something, and not live it, is dishonest.
- The right path and the easy path are rarely the same path.
- If you want the benefits of something in life, you must accept the costs.
- Overcommitting is the antithesis of living a peaceful, mindful life.
- When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little.
- Your only reality is THIS MOMENT, right here, right now.
Exercise a little mindfulness control this week and you might end up growing friendships rather than foes.
Your vision will become clear only when you look in to your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” –Carl Jung
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, June 25, 2017