I have always needed to be in control of my life and sometimes, sadly, other peoples lives too, when they interact with mine. I feared change. I feared the danger of what could happen. I feared who I would become or how I would react, feel, or what others would think. Recently though, I have realised that to get the best out of myself and most certainly to get the best from others, I have to let go of control and take my hands off the steering wheel.
If you are on one of those children’s fairground rides where you are in a car and think you have the control of turning the steering wheel and keep it going in a circle, you continue turning it in that direction. If you suddenly decide you want the car (and therefore the ride) to go the opposite way, the logical thing is to turn the steering wheel the opposite way. How do you feel when you continue in the same direction?
Is there a dawning that you aren’t really in control at all? Do you feel cheated, angry, duped? Maybe you do but if you take another glance, you will see that your journey continues, the ride is still moving, the exhilaration is the same, you are safe and yet can still have fun and you can turn the steering wheel a different way and get that buzz of feeling like you are going against the direction chosen for you, without the fear of what will happen.
In life, you can be gripped onto that wheel, always turning the way you think you should go because you are in fear of what happens if you turn a different way or, heaven forbid, you let go completely. But do you know, when you let go, life continues (just like the fairground ride) and sometimes actually takes you to places that give you much more pleasure, experience, possibility, freedom and fun than ever staying in the direction you told yourself you had to go. It’s good, no, life changing, to take your hands off, lose a little control and just see what direction life takes you.
I know that I have become a more relaxed, happier, less uptight, more rounded and grounded individual. Why? Because I have trusted those around me to keep me safe, I trust those who know and care for me, will only be taking me in a direction to benefit me, to teach me, to grow me. I have finally trusted myself. I have finally believed in myself, my values, my gut, my judgement of people and places. I have realised that relationships are more fulfilling when you allow each other to steer sometimes; more exciting if you both let go and see where you end up; more secure when you trust that someone else has the wheel if you step away.
So will I be setting new year resolutions, targets, goals (controls) for the year to come? No. Quite simply no, not in the true sense of the meaning. I know how I’d like to feel at the end of the year, what I would like to know more about, where I would like to have been and to know I have served others in the process means the year has been all it was meant to be. Once I know that picture, all I need to do is step back and think “today what can I do to get myself one day closer to feeling that way, knowing that, getting to that place, serving those people”. Tomorrow, next week or next month is of no consequence. Today I can choose to take a step towards it and if, by chance, I don’t make it, then I will forgive myself and let it go.
Am I perfect? Hell no. Will I achieve all I set out to? Yes, but, if along the way I get side tracked by someone or something else that diverts me on my journey will I fret, stress or tell myself I’ve failed? Absolutely not. We all meet people who change our thoughts or teach us new skills and we all cross paths for a reason. Sometimes I will reach road blocks and have to divert and sometimes I will go downhill and sometimes up, but always it’s a journey I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed on the track I originally planned (meticulously) as this year ends.
Here’s to new people, new places, new journeys. Here’s to control and freedom. Here’s to planned and unplanned. Here’s to steady away and total abandonment. Here’s to stories, here’s to freedom, here’s to a fulfilling and year to remember. And when I look back at all I have achieved will I be who I am now? No, but I will be damn proud and in love with who I have become.
I have to ask…. what are your plans for next year?