Do you ever think, life is so unfair? It seems so often we find ourselves disappointed in our lack of control over what is going on around us, what is happening to us. It’s not a nice reality to consider that life is truly unpredictable when we try so hard to keep things in equilibrium; We’re calming everyone down, we’re cheering everyone up, we’re holding our own heads above the water, we’re believing that we’re maintaining order— And yet we don’t know if the future will be pleasant or harsh. If we were certain that things would always be good, would we ever try? If we were certain that things would go wrong, would we still ever try?
It would be nice if good behavior always resulted in an agreeable end but it doesn’t. When it’s all over, we meet the same mortal conclusion. It places a blanket of guilt, deflection, and confusion over us when we don’t accept that life can be chaotic. We end up blaming ourselves or others, thinking that if we had acted differently, we could’ve changed the outcome of everything. That’s not always true. So how do we accept that so much in life is beyond our control? I’m not a mental health expert but here are some life lessons that I’ve learned.
Not Having Control is Normal
The saying goes, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.” The reason we quote this is because we don’t always know what the future holds and we all have to face circumstances of life whether we enjoy them or not. No one has it together 100% of the time; No one is out there dodging every single unsavory obstacle. Time and chance happen to us all.
You Cannot Control Everything
If you feel like time has passed you by and you begin to question whether your actions could’ve drastically changed an outcome, you’re starting to feel guilty and out of control, it’s important to get to the bottom of what your guilt is about. If you’ve done something you regret, remember that we all make mistakes and can change our behavior moving forward. We can make amends, we can apologize, we can let go. If you’re using control to try to regain order, life may hit you again, and then what? Thinking that we can control everything is irrational.
You Should Talk To Someone
I’ve always believed that I’m my greatest friend when it came to my problems but I’ve found that that level of focus on yourself can put your blinders up to the needs of others and also to learning from others. Whether you speak with a counselor, a support group, a family member, a friend, even a stranger, it’s a good idea to relieve your mind and body of the guilt you have about not being able to control every circumstance.
Be Kind to Yourself
So maybe something was your fault. Maybe you could’ve done something differently. Maybe you should’ve spent more time with that person. Okay. But reason with yourself:
Perhaps you did the best you could do at that time.
Even with as much information you had about something, you still couldn’t predict the outcome.
There could’ve been many other factors at play than your own actions.
If you’re being hard on yourself for the things you couldn’t control, remind yourself about all of the positive things you’ve done to help a situation. It still means something.
Wisdom is the principal thing. Wisdom is a shelter that preserves those who have it. Whether something goes our way or not, whether we make a mistake or do the right thing, we are bound to learn something. Even if we cannot control every circumstance, we can take what we’ve learned from a situation and help others.
You may wonder what it’s worth, trying so hard, seeking wisdom, and persevering even though we don’t know what will happen for sure. But knowing that we have limited time in the natural world, we can live more peacefully when we accept that both good and bad things are coming our way. There is a difference between accepting the chaos in life and accepting the truth that life can be chaotic. One renders us powerless to the ills of life while the other makes us wise enough to endure.