Aware of the Freak

Control over our internal environment is the aim

Image by tskirde
Another interesting paradox is how the need for control actually hinders meditation and mindful awareness

I’m talking about the need for control over events and others. We’ve all heard the expression: control freak. Quiet an unpleasant terminology when we think of it. No one likes being called a freak, and yet it could be said, there’s a degree of this in all of us. It’s that need to know what’s going to happen next and the need to be in control of this. One of the problems with this need is how it can take so much of the fun out of life. The unexpected and unforeseen are often the occasions where life takes its most interesting turns. And when we feel the need to be in command and control of those people around us, this restricts the controller as much as the victim. If the controlling could see how restrictive their behaviour was, they would potentially gain the awareness needed, to make the necessary modifications.

The quandary, the control freak finds themself in, is how the obsessive need for control, is the very mechanism that keeps the mind in constant turmoil. It’s the degree of discomfort and fear they feel that hinders the letting go required for awareness of thought to begin. We might say that focusing the mind single pointedly, during meditation, (let’s say the end of the nose) takes control. Perhaps it does, however, I would argue, that the controlling mind, finds conflict here, due to the belief constant thought and analysis, equals control.

By single pointedly focusing, we’re seeking to raise awareness of our thought processes, through becoming aware, of something physical. A challenging task for someone who needs constant thinking and analysis to alleviate fear. A powerful block to meditation.

By seeking greater awareness we uncover the illusions driving our fear

No matter how much the controlling individual is advised to tackle the fear driving their compulsion, they persist. They persist until they see the illusion. We must consider where the need for control stems: childhood. The need for control is potentially a coping mechanism learnt in childhood. The fear was real back then and now has drifted into the illusory. The controlling must learn a better way of managing fear. And the greatest paradox is how mediation and mindfulness holds the key.

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