Letting Go of Control

I started commenting in my last blog on the 15 secrets to serenity. The first secret is “Give up your need to always be right.”

Here is the second:

#2. Give up your need for control.

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

(Luminita Saviac, Purpose Fairy)

This took me more years to learn than I care to admit. I spent a lot of years being in charge, or at  least I thought I was in charge. I liked it when people and events would follow the plan I had set out and when they didn’t, I stressed out. I wasn’t the most flexible person in the world. But I truly believed that my way was better. A few years ago Bernie bought me a plaque for Christmas that reads: “I’M NOT BOSSY. I JUST HAVE BETTER IDEAS.”

I am not particularly proud of the sign but it continues to hang in my kitchen as a reminder of what I once was. Here is the truth. 1.  My ideas may have been good but not always better than anyone else’s. 2. Even if my ideas were better, I don’t have to always have my own way. 3. I don’t have to be in charge. I am liking not being in charge more and more all the time. 4. When one takes charge all the time, they stifle the opportunity for people to learn. It is true that practice makes perfect…but there has to be a first time for the process to begin.

I am so impressed with the way my children are raising their children to be responsible. They are not bothered by imperfection as their kids struggle to do things. As a result, they are all growing up to be creative and capable. I can’t say that I was as good at  parenting. I can still remember walking into a kitchen cleaned by two of my kids and all I noticed was that they hadn’t emptied the trap in the sink. I am not surprised they put up such resistance when asked to help around the house.

I am a much better grandmother than I was a mother. I am a much better friend and neighbor, too. I have learned to let things go the way they will without my interference. This is true even when things may seem to be awkward or be going awry. Things seem to work out and I like seeing others contributing to this. Letting go has some perks, like serendipity and surprise. It makes life so much more interesting.