I think ‘being in control’ might be the most elusive of our illusions.

It’s persistent.

It’s compelling.

It’s promising, and comes with a particular sense of safety.

And it’s also 100% bullshit.

No matter how hard we try, pray, visualize, or hustle, the world minus us will always go on, expand and change, in spite of our vision boards and plans.

Sure, sometimes it really looks like we’re doing stuff and get the results we were expecting, but only sometimes.

You know that.

It’s just that you (or the mental activity that pretends it’s ‘you’) conveniently forget and work around the massive amounts of times there was no control, at all, and you were absolutely lost and defeated and powerless within the drama.

We just forget about it.

It’s automatic.

There’s a special, gigantic rug in the universe where all those negative and non-complying experiences get swept under all day long, so we can keep avoiding the apparently devastating idea that there’s nothing we can do.

It takes an enormous, totally impressive amount of biased thinking to keep believing in the control we have as an individual, and to keep striving for it, if you consider how often it doesn’t come true.

That’s one of those things I deeply admire in the human setup and the cleverness of this amazing, divine happening.

No matter how often we see that our wishes don’t come true (and even if they do, in those rare moments, how most of the time that doesn’t give us what we hoped for), we keep believing in personal power.

If we do something a thousand times and it works only once, that one thing will keep us going and believing forever.

It’s all so special and smart, how that works.

And, of course, the last thing I’d want to do is ridicule that.

It’s absolutely perfect, it’s necessary for all of this to work the way it does, and I wouldn’t want to be without it.

If literally EVERYTHING you’d wish for came true, if ALL THE THINGS you’d wanted to achieve and own would materialize instantly, I don’t know what the world would look like.

The idea to work really fucking hard so you can get away from your depressing environment, the idea of failing miserably and getting up again and again, or the experience of becoming a rockstar despite all the adversity, all of that needs this tension that comes from being uncertain about the outcome.

We truly need this system of random successes and very long roads to victory, to make life exciting, and to create powerful stories.

So that’s the baffling thing: I guess that, somewhere in the back of our minds, we all know that this is actually true.

I think we somehow know that it’s not really up to us, even though we keep on trying.

When this becomes clearer, new avenues in life open up.

It’s like a whole new ballgame.

I would have never, ever thought that realizing there’s absolutely nothing we can do, on a personal or human level, would create so much freedom instead of the anxiety I somehow expected.

Admittedly, I had to get used to the whole idea (I’m still there, quite often), because personal responsibility and free will and all those things seem so fundamental and promising and important, and really true in many (heavily curated) instances.

But it works, and it comes with a special feeling of relief and opportunity.

After decades of hiding and drinking as a means of control, after constantly trying to ‘align myself with the universe’ so I could start ordering all the stuff I’d like to acquire, the whole notion of being responsible for life is just totally ridiculous and illogical.

This is not the start of a debate.

It’s a reflection, an exploration, and a form of deep appreciation.

Living in a world where we can, in theory, constantly notice that our beliefs about many things make no sense at all and STILL hang on to them and believe in them and try to live up to them, is absolutely astounding.

The signs are SO clear, so out there, but we stubbornly and perfectly and anxiously discard them.

Until we don’t, that is.

And life opens up to a whole new depth.

(Photo by @ohhbee, for Unsplash)