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Emerson and the Correlationship Between Control and Contentment

As a prequel to the pages of Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go, I cited the following insightful words of Ralph Waldo Emerson from his essay, “Spiritual Laws,” published in 1841:

“There is a guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word…Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into you as life…then you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”

In recently reflecting upon Emerson’s words again, I thought about how peaceful and wonderful it is to be “in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom” that brings us “a perfect contentment”–even if for only a few moments at a time.

The Correlationship Between Control and Contentment

His words are such a poetic expression of the strong correlation—and dynamic–between letting go of control and living within the abode of power, wisdom, and contentment. My book’s title Losing Control, Finding Serenity is intended to reflect that correlationship.

Simply put, control obstructs the “stream” of life’s natural currents.  You can’t flow when you control.

That’s why I write extensively in the book and in this blog about the catalysts and causes of our controlling actions and how we can overcome them.

The Correlationship Between Fear and Control 

One major cause is worth examining again: Fear

Our fears about all the “what ifs” and “what might happens” cause us to hold on tightly, to “grip” life’s natural currents. As such, much like gripping a moving conveyor built, we either get “burned” or dragged along.

Fears are almost always illusory and don’t like being exposed for what they are–cowardly.

Thus, to overcome our fears, we must address and process them.  We must move closer to them, confront them–and call their bluff!  The following acronym for fear identifies one way to do that: Future Events Already Ruined.   Hence,

Don’t make assumptions or speculate about the future negatively.

Instead, address what is real for you today and trust that you will be able to handle what tomorrow brings–tomorrow.  In doing so, you will reduce your compulsion to control and thereby place yourself in the middle of the stream of power, wisdom, and contentment.  And what a great place to be!

In the meantime,

Let It Go—and Accept “What is!” and,

Let’s Help Make Acceptance Go Viral! 


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