Control is an Illusion

“Since death is certain, but the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing? Pema Chodron

I am always out of control. Yet I cling to the illusion of a life that I can delineate. I set intentions. I make plans. And then life happens.

My younger daughter was seriously ill in the hospital after a few critical days of pneumonia and septic shock. She’s better now, and I can breathe.

And I have a reminder that I do not maintain order in my life although I am the beneficiary of it at times. I can plan, I can organize, I can get involved in daily routines that feel vitally important. I can consider myself indispensable and worry about everything from keeping appointments to putting healthy meals on the table.

Poof…it all disappears as I sit for hours in a hospital chair, mindless of what was compelling a few hours ago.

I no longer care if the leftover chicken rots and the clothes heap up in the laundry room. I skip my morning routines to make sure my daughter has a healthy smoothie when she wakes in the morning. My hair begins to stand on end and I look down to discover a spot on my jacket that a week before would have embarrassed me. Now I idly examine it, wondering what and when without much interest. Mirrors are not a reality for the moment.

It is another reminder to seek what is important in my life. Another reason to drop form and look for substance. A recognition that uncertainty is a way to practice acceptance. And that acceptance is letting go of control.

The Student

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2 Comments

Filed under Pema Chodron, Quotations

2 responses to “Control is an Illusion

  1. schroera

    Thank you for a very thoughtful article. I couldn’t agree with you more. I actually just posted an article on my blog about the illusion of control. If you have a chance, check it out: http://364daysofthanksgiving.com/control/
    I would be curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

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