Mental Musings: Control vs Trust

Mental Musings is a sporadic post series (separate from my weekly Wednesday posts) in which I encourage thought + discussion on topics such as life, death, creativity, happiness, success, philosophy, psychology, science, current events, and anything else relating to being human.

Ideas for posts may come from books, films, video clips, songs, articles, quotes, or simply the random thoughts running through my mind. I hope you enjoy this insight into the non-Yoga side of me + I’ll be incredibly grateful for your participation … now let’s muse! 🙂

Mental Musings: Control vs Trust @

Where does your control over your life end + your trust in “something bigger” begin?

How do you decide when to do more + more to make your dream into a reality or simply “have faith” that “everything will work out for the best”?

I was raised in the United States of America (does anyone really say the full title anymore?), where you’re taught that if you work hard, you can have anything you’ve ever wanted … but let’s be real. There are zero guarantees that your hard work is going to pay off. As some say, karma is a bitch (a topic which I’ll dive into more in my Wednesday posts).

What if you spend your whole life doing something just because your parents or your guidance counselor told you that you were good at it? What if you never took the time to explore or pursue the things that made your feel truly alive + grateful for every breath you take?

Whether or not you believe in a “higher power” or “support from the universe”, I know you’re aware that you can’t control literally everything in your life. There’s too many factors, too many elements, too many other people involved. Even down to simply the science of the weather + the cycles of day and night. When you stop + ponder it, you have a whole lot less control than you think … and that can be f**king terrifying.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou

The rise in depression and anxiety in modern countries is staggering. As someone who was on medication for nearly a decade to treat depression, general anxiety, and social anxiety, I know just how hard the weight of our human reality can bring you down … but does it have to?

Can the fact that we have only mild control of the events in our lives be freeing, rather than confining? Is it possible that while your dreams are valid + worth working toward, whatever ends up happening in your life will be thousands of times better than anything you could have hoped for?

That’s where the trust comes in. But I have trust issues.

Some things that you can actually control in your life:

  • What you eat
  • How much water your drink
  • Whether or not you exercise
  • Your daydreams

Did I miss anything? It was bound to be a short list. Depending on your age, where you were raised, and your income, there will be more things that you can control in your life … but do you try to control too much?

What’s really worth trying to control? Can you trust that the decisions that others make – those that directly impact your daily life – are truly in your best interest?

To truly enjoy + thrive during the mere decades we have on this blue planet that’s floating around in the cosmos, we have to find a balance between control + trust.

“Sometimes before it gets better, the darkness gets bigger, the person that you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger.” – Fall Out Boy (Miss Missing You)

We can’t control everything, but we can’t leave everything up to trust/faith/fate either.

Where does your control over your life end + your trust in “something bigger” begin?

6 comments… add one
  • Yoga wisdom for modern life? Let’s accept that we have very little (or no) control?

    I think we were meant to be besties. 🙂

  • You really spoke to me with the part about doing what “you’re supposed to do” or what your parents or family thinks you’re supposed to do (of course you worded it more eloquently!). There is definitely a fine balance between the two, one that I teeter back and forth on everyday. But this is a great reminder to think more deeply about it in each choice I make. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Leah! I’m delighted that my post was able to speak to you. For many years after high school, I tried to go to college, have a 9-5 “normal” job, and was in a rush to try and settle down because I thought that was what you were “supposed” to do and I thought it would make my Mom happy. Thankfully, she told me that she doesn’t care what my job is or how I live – all she wanted me to be was happy. That changed everything 🙂

  • Hey – that’s exactly the lesson I’m learning right now! I can control my thoughts/desires (sometimes, when I concentrate) and I have to trust the universe to do the rest. Amazingly, after putting an intention out there with no idea “how” I could get it to work, the universe served up a surprise that was better than anything I could have forced. So now I trust that I have no control. 🙂

    • We’re totally on the same page, Beth! I know what I want to accomplished, but how I get there is always a unique journey with twists + turns that I never imagined (most of them quite wonderful). Sometimes, having no control is the ultimate definition of freedom 🙂


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