Control your Mind or It’ll Control You
I’ve been thinking about writing this one for a while, somewhat at a loss for how to phrase it. There are so many different facets to describing a topic like this and the awakening that comes along with it. A lot of puzzle pieces that have to fit together combined with the willingness to continue LETTING them fit together as I continue to grow while LETTING GO of concepts of, “Absolute.”
I had to discover that a rock wasn’t impossible to move before I could understand that a boulder wasn’t that much bigger. I had to comprehend that my contempt and ego were my greatest adversaries. Self-limiting beliefs, and the only thing that prevented me from having the freedom I truly sought; the unlimited control I sought.
I had to be asleep before I could awaken.
I navigated life in, what I thought was, a pretty responsible manner, mentally, and couldn’t understand why things worked out the way they did when I was intelligent, insightful, and logical…I thought. Perhaps my stories would be a poor reflection on the word “logical,” but all things being equal I would beg to differ. Drug addiction was a natural reaction for someone like me, someone that couldn’t find a way to control his environment.
I felt like I was detached from the world with no foundation to stand on, no purpose, and baffled that I couldn’t get things to go the way they needed to. Naturally, manipulation was the shortcoming I misused in an attempt to get things to work properly, to control it, so they would go my way.
I was on auto-pilot driven by beliefs of “truth.”
I had taken a great gift, like power of influence, and morphed it into manipulation for selfish motives without knowledge that it was selfish. It was an an attempt to control outcomes, circumstances, and people; a mad power grab, attempting to conform them to my will because, well, I know what’s best for you based on what’s best for me. I’m just using manipulation as an example because it is the most glaring one that comes to mind but, truly, there were several more assets that were misused in an attempt to control something I believed I could.
I was completely unaware that my selfishness was the root because I couldn’t see the line between mutually beneficial and stepping over your body to get to the next step. I walked around as the center of my universe and, therefore, was unable to see anything past my own perspective, driven by selfishness, nor an ability to be open to another opinion or understanding.
I was “absolute.”
The GREATEST gift I have been given is the awareness of my perspective, understanding its flaws, and the power to change it. Once I understood that my addiction was beyond my perceptual control, I was forced into a position where I had to ask for help or continue on, “to the bitter end.”
After I had exhausted every resource, in a state of absolute brokenness, I lowered my pride and asked for a help…just a little though. I asked for the “how to” for recovery instead of the, “why,” as I believed it inconsequential to the desired outcome…which is true but the search for, “why,” fearlessly and honestly is what gave me all of the power I have today. “Why,” is the only question necessary for regulating my perspective.
I am more in control than I’ve ever been.
It was conforming my will instead of attempting to conform the world to mine. It was conforming my perception of control. It was conforming my belief of “absolute,” and redefining “successful outcome.” It was only in conforming those beliefs, disregarding the question of “how,” replacing it with, “why?” It was when I allowed my perception to evolve from a “black and white” view of life to all of the grey that was in between. It was when I was willing to believe that the “control” I sought, so black and white, was actually an incorrect definition; the control I sought was in a grey area that required me to discard my perception of, “absolute.”
It’s hard to change a perception that is cemented in place.
It requires a chip in the pavement before you can take a sledge hammer to it. I have more control and more power than I have ever had, and it continues to grow the more I detach from “absolute” to “possible,” and “emotional reaction” to “constructive response.” If you told me, “You’re an asshole,” it wasn’t long ago I would attach a great deal of significance to the statement which was followed by a reaction to assert power as a defense mechanism because my pride was hurt, and my pride responded in kind. It was the misinterpretation of what, “being right,” really meant.
That’s lack of control.
Now, I have options because I respond. I ask myself questions like, “Why?” “Why did they say that? What is its significance? Does it have significance? Is it true?” I have the control of my emotional response because I have control of my perception and an open-mind that reminds me that, sometimes, I am an asshole. Does that mean I was an asshole in this case?
If I was, do I attach any significance to it? Yes! But the significance is in the recognition of it and the control in the action I take next to make it right with the knowledge that ego hasn’t ever helped me in any situation; it prevents me from growing; and a stop in growth means a stop the control I seek and a loss of power. What if they’re wrong? Does it mean I need to correct them on their opinion if they’re wrong?
No! What does it matter?
I know changing someone else’s perspective is impossible until they are open to it being changed. Not to mention that my character is, now, based and moral value system that prioritizes personal integrity and, in turn, provides me the self-worth and self-esteem that I’ve always sought from honest actions instead of the search for external validation. So why would I attach any significance to an incorrect statement like that? Why would I let anyone have control of my emotions or its response? And if my value system is a moral code, then why would I ever be harmed, true or false, by a statement that calls it into question when the purpose is the continuation of my growth? If it’s prioritized, why would I value anything other than the evaluation of their statement and whether my moral code was broken?
With this line of thought, control is unlimited.
It all started with a change in the significance of, “Why?” What began as my timid exploration of, “why,” was followed by several truths I couldn’t understand because my ego wouldn’t allow me to perceive them as constructive. I had to be asleep before I could awaken. I had to chip the cement before I could take a sledge hammer to it. The amount of control I have is based on what I define as “desired outcome.” “Desired outcome” started as an external validation where selfishness and manipulation were the tools used for a power grab at control that left me disappointed, often. The desired outcome has changed to a commitment to constant and continuous growth, where an outcomes value is determined internally, by responses to circumstances and situations with a mindfulness of that growth being priority.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.”
I was only open to another idea once I had exhausted myself trying to control everything I couldn’t and trampling everyone in my path. It has transformed into an internal gift that has allowed me to change my perception of control, power, and priorities by being “absolutely certain” that, “absolute,” is the most self-limiting and self-defeating word in the English language. Today, the control and power I possess is unlimited. Today, I am more powerful than I have ever been, and that power continues to grow exponentially as I stay open-minded to alternatives in belief and detached from my ego; always mindful that that power can be dangerous when misused for selfishness.
The power I possess, perception, has changed and therefore, my interpretation of control with it. The possession and infinite expansion of that control is dictated by the power in ability to detach from, “absolute,” and recognizing, “absolutely possible,” as truth, therefore, prohibiting ego from interfering with the true definition of a successful outcome, growth.
“What is your message?”
Someone asked me that the other day and I didn’t have a definitive answer. My mind is a strange place I am just beginning to explore in any productive and helpful manner. After rereading and summarizing everything I have written it is, simply:
“The limitations of your personal potential, self-esteem, and relative happiness are all contingent upon how, ‘absolutely,’ willing you are to open your mind to change. Perception is the reality we live in, created by the brain, and behind the way we interpret everything and how it affects us. We control it, or it controls us. Perception is where you find purpose and fulfillment and is the ONLY consistent determining factor in achieving the personal potential, self-esteem, or happiness we seek. All that’s required to begin this incredible journey is a consideration that, although unlikely, it is, ‘absolutely possible,’ that I am not certain.”