Monday, April 30, 2012

5/1/12—Walking Someone Else's Path

Today's Draw: Control (Chariot) from the Today's Journey Tarot. Consider the situations in your there one you're trying to exert control over? What is your desire to control the situation mirroring back to you? What is it keeping from addressing in your own self? And what awful calamity might befall you if you just let go?

Usually when I do these things, I'm pretty strict about drawing one card and writing about it come hell or high water. I can probably count the number of times I've strayed from that on one hand. Today is one of those days. In fact, today I went through at least a dozen cards from three different decks. I decided to stop looking when I got the message "control". As in "you control freak, choose a frickin' card, fercryinoutloud!"

We all do it. Being controlling is when you try to exert your influence over something that is not within your control. That could be another person or a situation. Control is different from collaboration or compromise. Control is about pushing beyond boundaries and comfort zones. It's about making everything "your way", according to your agenda. It's about trying to elicit a desired response.

Here's the thing about control, can only steer one ship at a time. So people who habitually try to control others are people who are out of control of themselves. In fact, it is often from the fear of being out of control that we try to control others. 

There is a person I know who likes to lecture people about their issues. So-and-so drinks too much. They're not making anything out of their lives. Their god doesn't have the right name. And they should be ashamed of themselves, at this age, not having their stuff together. Meanwhile, the person making these judgments and trying to elicit shame and change in others, has been homeless for years, has substance abuse issues and can't manage to stay in a shelter long without getting thrown out.

So our desire to control others can often be a mirror into ourselves. It's so much easier seeing the flaws in someone else than to see them in yourself. It's easier the steer the ship of someone else than it is to steer yourself. But that example is dramatic and obvious. There are many more subtle ways we do it on a daily basis we may not even be aware of. 

Maybe we say that one extra thing to try to make someone feel guilty about something. Or we "rescue" someone, then tell them exactly how they should be from here on in. Or we tell someone the consequences they'll pay for not believing as we do. Or we push our agenda so strongly and loudly that others give in. Or we compliment something to get on someone's good side. We twist words to support our arguments. Shun those who don't act the way we like. Try to talk someone out of something they want to do. Tell people what they're thinking or feeling. Deny responsibility for things we've done. Create problems or dramas with others. Don't support others' dreams. Or are overly generous with gifts.

Like I said, we're not always aware that that's what we're doing, but we all do it from time to time—we try to "push" a situation, bring others in alignment with our agenda or elicit a desired response/reaction from others. We tell ourselves it's for their own good or they "should" be doing things this way, but the truth is, we have no idea what their own good is. We're not even sure what our own path is half the time, how can we know someone else's? Besides, if we're focused on walking someone else's path for them, then we're not making much progress on our own path. And many times that's the point.

Chances are there is some situation in your life right now that you are trying to control or fighting back the urge to control. What is it telling you? Why do you really want what you're trying to get? What are you reactions trying to make someone else do or feel? What do you want someone to realize? And, if you believe in God, why might you be usurping his will by not just "letting go and letting God"?

No comments:

Post a Comment