Are You a Prisoner of Control?
Imagine growing up in a protected courtyard enclosed on all sides by twenty-foot-high stone walls. Let us also imagine that from birth, you never ventured beyond your four walls. Your only perceptions would be your walls; the sky above; the rhythmic transits of the sun, moon, and stars; occasionally some rain or snow; visitations from a few curious local birds; and an occasional leaf carried by the wind. If I asked you what you thought about life, you might shrug your shoulders and insist that the world is an altogether dull place without much opportunity. You might go on to report that you feel quite safe and secure, but lament the lack of passion or interest in your life. You wouldn’t forget to tell me of your interminable boredom, which at times seems almost unbearable. But mostly, I would suspect, you’d be anguishing over the loneliness and lack of intimacy in your life.
In a stone-walled courtyard, none of your above reporting would be false; it would be a reality dictated by the circumstances of your enclosure. It wouldn’t be fair to say that your reality is distorted. It’s just limited. This limited, courtyard view is exactly what control does to your life. It narrows your field of view and leaves you convinced that the world is a place with few choices, a place where you’re a prisoner–confined and helpless. There’s a whole world of choice just beyond your courtyard of reflexive, insecure thinking. I’m certain of one thing: once you leave your prison of controlled living (worrying, ruminating, perfectionism, doubting, distrusting, etc.), you’ll never return.