One of the biggest issues I face in working through my emotional journey is when I hit the wall of expectation around how things should be happening in my life. I have learned that my expectations around how things should be, are mostly a guise for wanting to control situations and relationships, and their outcomes so I can feel better. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel better but there is a subtle, important difference between the feeling of control of one’s life that comes from inner assurance and a desire for control of external conditions. The expectation and desire that those conditions work out a certain way serves as a surrogate for the inner feeling of emotional imbalance. In other words, I can be feeling insecure, experiencing inner conflict and turmoil yet seeking for and believing in the solution coming through outer control of circumstances and people.
The Reality of Inner Control and The Illusion of Control
The opposite of insecurity is control which can also be interpreted as certainty. It makes sense that when you are feeling insecure that you desire certainty and take actions or make decisions to garner that surety in your experience. But what happens when people or circumstances don’t meet those expectations? Disappointment? Despair? Fear? Anger at yourself? It’s important to pay attention to the emotional energy that lies beneath your reaction because that is the emotional fuel that has been pushing you toward the outcome you wanted, and is also the key to gaining true control of your life. If you poke around in that sense of insecurity or whatever emotion it was that propelled you toward wanting that specific outcome that didn’t work out you will find an indication of un-ease and imbalance. That emotional imbalance can be shifted and when it is, is when you gain the real control of your life.
The difference in how things turn out when we approach our decisions and desires connected with inner emotional contentment is more satisfying because when we operate from the essence of who we are, we activate the co-creative power of our inner energy. We can then expect and eagerly anticipate outcomes that are a reflection of the energy we are projecting from an inner state of calm, joy, love and openness.
The Wisdom Within
As humans we have a strong motive to control our social and physical environments. Feedback that tells us we are successful satisfies a need to feel competent and positively reinforces our proclivity to control outcomes. It also increases our expectations that we can control the elements of our success through outer-directed action or behavior. The problem of this feedback loop is that it can lead to a backward way of assessing and living life where our identity and self-worth is tied up in the illusion of controlling outer conditions to maintain inner satisfaction. It becomes easy to confuse true control of your life with the image of what you see on the outside. It leads us to make assumptions as to what will make us happy; then that has to be the condition or else we aren’t satisfied, and we end up frustrated. The way of our authentic self is to reflect our inner control and knowing rather than the outer illusion, but we rarely access that wise guide hidden within.
So how do we become more aware of our inner wisdom? Generally, it is a process of inviting in and opening up to the higher aspects of ourselves; surrendering the need for control of outer circumstances, even for a day or two, to get in touch with our loving inner self. You can think of establishing this inner connection this way – let go of identifying yourself as your achievements, reputation, what you have and your need for conditions to be “right”.
3 Steps for Activating Inner (Real) Control
- Let go of the past. Begin appreciating who you are and where you are right now as the sum of everything you have lived until this moment; even the difficult experiences. Through all you have experienced you have gained a wise guide within who knows what is most valuable to your creative expression and fulfillment in life.
- Monitor inner dialogue. Notice how much of your inner self-talk focuses on what’s missing, negative situations, the past, the opinions of others and what you dislike. Instead, focus on what you intend to create and attract into your life. Have fun dreaming, imagining and enjoying your desires as come into focus in your mind and heart. Feel the joy and how happy you are within before taking any outer actions.
- View obstacles as opportunities. When challenges arise and you feel yourself slipping into doubt and confusion, e.g. “If only this thing were different” remind yourself of your connection to the frequency of inner peace. Detach from the situation and ask your authentic self in meditation for the guidance and assistance you require. As you practice going within to find the answers you’ll find your true power to move forward with certainty, clarity and insight.
Welcoming Change Guided Meditation available for purchase here.