Is Control an Illusion?

I was thinking about control the other day and how we don’t have control over a lot of things that happen in our lives.  We can’t control the weather, our friends and family or the other drivers.  Sometimes this can be rather frustrating for me.  Where is spring?  Why is it still chilly here? Why is that person tailgating me?  Who’s going to be nice and let me change lanes?

So, last weekend when I heard someone say that being in control of our lives is just an illusion, I immediately nodded my head in agreement.  After all, just look at the list of things I can’t control.  The list of things I can’t control is infinite.

Then I remembered the one thing I do have control of in all situations.  I am in control of how I choose to react in each situation I’m in or observe.  I get to choose whether the guy tailgating me annoys the heck out of me or not.  I get to choose if I complain about the cold day or enjoy the fact that the sun is out.  You get to make those same decisions in your life.

So, is control an illusion?  I guess it depends on what you’re trying to control.  Are you trying to control the situation or your reaction to the situation?  I find it’s less stressful for me when I make the decision to control my reaction, rather than the situation.

What do you think?

12 thoughts on “Is Control an Illusion?

  1. Evie: The only thing we can control is ourselves. Not our spouse, not our children, not our time, not our lives. We can (and must) control our responses and our actions.
    Everyone has the same 24 hours (assuming they are present on Earth- pun intended). We can control what we do during that time. We can’t control time. Last person to do so was Joshua.
    We can’t control our kids. We can control our responses to their actions. We can lead them by example. We can discuss things with them. We can – and always do- hope for the best.

    Thanks for reminding me of this fact, today.
    Roy

    1. Thanks Roy! I love that you pointed out we all get the same amount of time. That was one thing I used to get so frustrated about (until I let it go).

  2. Great post, Evie! You are so right about controlling the reaction rather than the situation. Some people talk about controlling their lives, but they think that means controlling what happens to them. The irony is that the more you focus on the things you can control, the more the sphere of influence increases.

  3. Hi Evie,

    100% yes. Control is not an illusion to…..God 😉

    We control our thoughts. We control how we perceive situations.

    As for the situations themselves, we can’t control them. We are co-creators. We direct our thoughts to some end, and the Universe takes care of the rest.

    We choose to think thoughts, feel feelings, and move into specific actions, all according to our vision. We decide up until this point. As for the outcome, it’s none of our business. Detach from it. The Universe will figure it out.

    Most anxiety is control-based. We can’t control things. We control how we perceive things, how we respond to things. Ceding the need to control circumstances has been the greatest stress-reliever in my life.

    As the saying goes, forget trying to be the general manager of the universe. A Capable Hand is already in charge.

    Thanks Evie!

    RB

  4. We are in control of ourselves and how we react or respond in any given situation. Recognizing that we have no control over anything else is a huge awareness. However, if you focus on what you want, in terms of the things in your life, you can to some degree get what you want. Is it control? It isn’t always what we want that we get but what we need, so is control illusion.. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm maybe it is! Boy there sure are a lot of people out there that want control!! It has been so much fun learning to live without the “control” ~ it freaks some people out!!! Sometimes tough too!! Not that I am totally out of wanting ‘control’ I work at it continually! Awesome post, Evie!

  5. I was just discussing this today with a friend. She & I are working on a “gratitude challenge” to name 1000 things for which we are thankful. It changes your attitude and your perception. Who cares if the lasagne is burned when you are thankful for a meal with your family? Thanks for the insight!

  6. Controlling ourselves is what is real. Everything else is an illusion. It took me a long time to understand this, much less accept it. Once I did, my whole life changed. I now accept that I have no control over anything. Except myself. And, I try to keep positive thoughts and dreams at the forefront of my mind, eliminating all the thoughts about things I can’t control. Gratitude and thankfulness prevail. Great post!

  7. Sometimes I really dont believe in illusion of control because as you point out there are things that are really uncontrollable such as the weather. 🙂 However, I still believe there are things that are always controllable by us such as how we react to certain situations.

    Lynne

  8. Nice post Evie! You are right, there are lots of things we do not have control over. As you said, we are only in control of how we choose to react in each situation. We cannot control how others react.

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