No matter how hard we try, we can’t control everything.
And that’s what I want to talk about today. The fact that maintaining control over our lives is an illusion.
At some point, many of us find this out the hard way. For some it’s a health scare, for others a global pandemic or economic crisis. But it seems it does take something major to wake us up from this illusion that we are in total control of our lives.
Control Freaks are Made – Not Born
From the time we’re little we are taught to plan for our future. What do you want to be when you grow up? What college do you want to go to? How many kids do you want? Where do you want to live?
We begin to shape our lives and dream our dreams. And there’s nothing wrong with having an initial plan, setting goals and wanting “good” things to happen to us. We all want to be happy and healthy and successful and have plenty of money to live comfortably.
But what happens when life throws us a curveball and takes us places we never dreamed of or feel comfortable in? Well, we’re not prepared, so we feel like somehow WE screwed up the plan! We must have made some kind of mistake somewhere along the journey because we SURE didn’t dream about failing classes or getting pregnant so soon or being involved in a serious car crash or finding our significant other cheating with our best friend.
If we didn’t plan on these events happening – WHY are they happening and what can we do to navigate them better?
You’re on An Ego Trip When You Should be on a Divine One
For many of us, our lives are a MAJOR ego trip. We plan this trip as we would a vacation, micromanaging every last detail.
Have you ever gone on a trip with someone who is an absolute CONTROL FREAK? Their itinerary has been refined down to the second and EVERYONE in the group MUST follow it. There are no side trips or unexpected adventures. Nope, no way, there’s no time for those because those were not part of the plan and they simply don’t fit.
“But we’re only 20 minutes away from a major historical landmark,” you say. “And everyone on TripAdvisor says you HAVE to see this place…”
“I don’t care,” says the control freak, referring back to the itinerary on her smartphone. “We’re NOT going. Now get back in the van!!”
Now imagine YOU in the role of the control freak and God as the really cool friend that is trying to make this trip the best trip EVER. But you don’t even listen to God. You don’t even know he came on the trip with you. All you know is you have CAREFULLY constructed your life, an ego trip, and there is no room for God to plan amazing things on your behalf.
But God often gives us not-so-nice things you say.
We think that because we simply do not, cannot, have the awareness or highest perspective to see the big picture.
Listen, I KNOW what I’m talking about. Do you think 23-year-old me jumped for joy when she was told she had 6 months to live? Do you think I yelled, “AWESOME!” and did a happy dance?
Obviously not. I was scared and very angry. But would current Prue have changed one second of my life’s journey? No. And let me tell you, so very many of the seconds, minutes and hours of my journey have been dark, so very dark. And yet all of that dark has brought me an abundance of light.
Had I been allowed to continue on my ego trip, I would have a vastly different life than I have now. And I am so in love with my life.
It’s Time to Change Your Perspective About Your Life Story!
Whether it’s a book, TV show or a movie, every one of us wants, DEMANDS, thrills with twists and turns. We WANT to be scared. We want mystery and drama and something HUGE for the protagonist to overcome.
So why do we want and expect far less in our own lives?
Why can’t it be a gift to be sent to an unexpected place in our life – one that challenges us and allows us to see behavioral patterns and emotional baggage that are ultimately standing in the way of our unconditional joy?
Who says that we can’t find beauty in ugliness? They’re both right there next to one another.
Who says “hard” is bad and “easy” is good?
Who says the perfect life is the life that looks perfect?
Facing the Unknown
Most of us try to control things for a couple of different reasons:
1. We are scared of the unknown. And we can avoid the unknown if we already know what will happen.
2. We are attracted to a certain outcome and we are CONVINCED this outcome is the one that’s best for us. Even though we really have NO idea.
Facing cancer and your own mortality is a surefire way to learn how to give up some of the control. Yes, I fought for my life. Yes, I searched around the world for answers and medicine I could believe in. Yes, I was an active participant in my own life. As one should be to some extent.
But along my journey, I surrendered to a higher power. I asked God to show me what I needed to know. I asked God to help me recognize the signs that would lead me to my healing.
Essentially, I learned real quick to let go and let God. And do you know what happened?
I learned that when we trust that we are okay, no matter WHAT happens, we can let go and stop trying to micromanage the entire universe.
When we let go, we open ourselves up to infinite possibilities to come our way. Infinite colors to color our life instead of just the ONE crayon that we chose.
When you stop being a control freak and just GO WITH THE FLOW OF LIFE, you can relax and feel calm and peaceful. You can be present in the moment, excited by what will happen next. Who will you meet today? What will happen? What a glorious role you are playing in this holy story!!
I encourage you to stop forcing things so hard and start trying a little bit each day to relax and surrender into the natural flow of life and of God.
This does not mean that you become a lazy inactive slob. No. It means taking action but from a place of acceptance that a higher power “has your back” and knows a heck of a lot more than YOU do!
Go Ahead – Lose Control:
If you find it hard to let go of control – and for some of you you’ve been doing it for so long you don’t even know HOW to let go – do the following:
Ask yourself what you are afraid will happen if you let go of control.
Once you know what the fear is, ask yourself if the fear is valid. If you’re afraid your literal trip will be ruined if you don’t see all the sights in the order you’ve outlined, is that really true?
If your fear is my life is over if my husband leaves me, is THAT really true?
Dig deep and be brutally honest here.
Ask if it’s any of your business.
You shouldn’t be micromanaging your own life let alone somebody else’s. If you’ve been trying to control other people’s business, chances are it hasn’t been going well so STOP!
Ask yourself if letting go of full control would be a relief?
A-ha! You know it would. 99.9999999% of people, when I have asked them this question, immediately have a look come over their face. It’s a look of peace. Letting go is wonderful!
Remind yourself that God, your higher power, the Universe loves you IMMENSELY
The world can look like a scary and ugly place at times. That is human error and darkness that corrupts. Sometimes “bad” things happen to good people because the result is something AMAZING!!!!
I am in love with my Dave and the wonderful friends and colleagues in my life right now and I never would have met them and my dear friend who helped me save my life – Dr. Bernie Siegel had my life not taken a scary, unpleasant turn. I would not be interacting with YOU right now if I hadn’t have walked through the valley of darkness first.
Don’t wish for perfection. Don’t wish for easy. Don’t fear hardships and some pain. These are often blessings in great disguise.
Sending much love,
P.S. My dear friend Dr. Bernie Siegel has a beautiful new book out on Amazon. Check it out here: