When I went out to plant the spring flowers I faced the usual dilemma: do I plant them in a row or a circle or scatter them about randomly? When I look at Mother Nature there doesn’t appear to be any order yet everything is so beautiful to the eye and spirit. How does this happen?
The same dilemma occurs in life. If I want everything under control I set a rigid schedule and everyday is planned. I can get many tasks accomplished. I am also exhausted at the end of the day. If someone calls and asks me to lunch or dinner, there is no room for flexibility.
I used to have a To Do List that always had at least a dozen items on it everyday. If I finished half of them I was lucky. It left me feeling stressed, unsatisfied and unfulfilled. I continuously felt like I was “not enough” even though no one else was unhappy with what I was doing. I wasn’t satisfying my expectation.
It was all about control. The need to control generally arises from fear. Fear of losing our job; losing our relationship; losing authority over children; losing money, often losing emotional control. If we have control over the details of our life, then we tell ourselves, bad things won’t happen. We never can have enough control over the external world. The sun will rise whether we want it to or not. Our children will catch colds at school no matter how careful we are with prevention. The stock market rises and falls and jobs come and go. We cannot control another person’s feelings.
What we ultimately have control over is fear. Once we release our fears and learn to trust, we learn we do not need to control as much as we thought. If we trust in the Divine, Creator, the Universe, God, Goddess, Ultimate Source or whatever you name the Higher Being, then we know that we are safe and secure in our life.
Now we do need to control some things in life. We still live in this world with its realities. We need a practical approach to our lives which includes a schedule to pay the bills on time, to get up in the mornings timely to go to your job if you have a job with a schedule, to get the children to school on time. to have food for meals and clothes to wear. Practical realities of living in community with others with a sense of dates and time regulate behavior so that we can coordinate our lives and activities.
Without some control chaos would reign. If we had no control over our lives where would we live, how would food be produced, children be protected, love be nurtured? If we had no schedule in our life, when would our work be done, our meals be eaten, our laundry done? These things would be done randomly when needed but would take more energy and attention if there was no food to be prepared because the shopping hadn’t happened and there wasn’t any laundry soap.
With total control comes stagnation and rigidity. There is no growth or flexibility. We lose the ability to be spontaneous and creative. Chaos brings new energy, shakes up the old and allows us to see new ways of thinking and doing.
Chaos alone is erratic, unsettled, scattered, unstructured and undisciplined. It is cannot be depended upon for survival or stability. War and destruction are the negative aspects of chaos out of control.
As always, the sweet spot comes with balance of control and chaos. Have enough control to manage life in this world and leave enough room for chaos to allow the new, different, unusual and adventurous to enter. If you have a To Do List make it short and sweet and include items like Kiss your hone, Pet your animal, hug your child, wave to your neighbor, smile at a stranger. Your life will be better for it.
Many blessings to you and your family,