Influence is the capacity to change or impact others, outcomes, etc. without directly forcing them.
Having influence is being detached of outcomes and not over-exerting energy.
Unlike influence, controlling behavior exerts tremendous energy as one is attached to outcomes.
Therefore, while influence sounds better than 'control," to own what is mine, I must name it what it is.
This blog post is about the need to control, our circle of influence and touches on the strength of surrender.
I have been at war with my reality.
It is irrational to compete with reality.
I have tried so hard to make things better.
In wanting to improve matters, I tried to convince, impose my opinions, punish and demand my way. Wanting some semblance of control used to bring out the worst in me.
I had to be vigilant of other's responses to avoid suffering. The truth is that I created more suffering around me by 'influencing' what didn't want to be influenced or improved.
We all know that the only response we can ever try to 'manage' is our own. Of course, that is if we are aware enough or present enough to have a open focus rather than narrow view of the world.
By trying to influence what is out of my circle of influence or control, I paradoxically shrunk my world.
Control impinges on others and shrinks our circle of support or world.
The world goes on with or without my perceptions, opinions, or judgments of how the world should or could be. And while idealists make the world a better place, they do not do it through force or control.
The truth is that any need to control, controls the controller. I am controlled by the need itself which cannot trust Life.
Needing to control creates anxiety. My anxiety has it's roots in a very chaotic childhood. However, since that is the past, I know that in the present I can simply do my best to be aware of situations that trigger me my need to influence an outcome.
I can be vulnerable with myself about my resistance to a different outcome than the one I desire.
That resistance creates stress and anxiety.
Anxiety is just anticipating some outcome.
There can be no flow or ease when there is vigilance.
Vigilance means I do not relax because I think I 'must do' something to change something....
Vigilance means I am afraid of that something I seek to exert influence over.
Therefore, the need to control sprouts from fear and creates tremendous anxiety.
When anxiety takes over, 'it' controls me.
While attempting to control may aim to make things easier, it is rarely if ever very graceful or filled w/ease.
What is graceful is going with the flow. It doesn't mean I do nothing or give up my desires. I am learning that it means not having such a tight hold on those desires. The tight hold can be in expecting what I desire. Instead, if I have a preference, it frees to see a more expansive world of possibilities.
Possibilities arise when I expand my focus from how it could be or should be to what might be.
My circle of support widens as I am transparent, vulnerable and willing to let go of my ideas of how things could be.
I have choices and if I do not see options, then, I ask for assistance in seeing other possibilities.
I can remind myself that the illusion of control is my source of suffering, misery and therefore also within my realm to breakthrough.
I envision being in my power and without "trying" influencing the world just by being. I want that kind of Presence.
Do I fear being controlled?
If so, why would I give over my power...?
What if I am controlled by my own mind?
How can I manage my own mind's thoughts?
How can I open myself up to the flow of Life, as it is, right here and now?