Sitting silently, breathing, watching, sensing. So much turmoil these last weeks and months, so much confusion and information about what is the “right” thing to do in this global, new situation. Much has been said and written about the future and how certain behaviourism will have a certain effect and others, well, a different effect.
Threats and promises about how it will all unfold brought to us based on facts, research, knowledge, calculations and again and again the assurance that all will again be under control.
I allow myself to rest in the assurance that we simply do not know. I can understand the need to feel a sense of control, of predictability, of safety and yet ultimately, it is an illusion.
Letting go of the idea of control is so threatening, as loss of control is so attached to ideas of potential pain and a deep fear of the unknown, that we feel we must protect ourselves and others from it, at all cost. At the cost of freedom, of life, of joy, at the cost of vulnerability and connection. We all know what it feels like to be in control, it is a feeling of power, of safety, of invincibility even. It can be a good and uplifting feeling if it is not fueled by fear.
Control ruled by fear comes at a high cost of energy, of freedom and ultimately leads to utter isolation and is tiring for the body and for the soul.
Whenever I feel like controlling, like tightening my grip on whatever reality I believe is the right one, the safe one, I literally try to do the opposite. The more certain I feel, the more I try to consciously let go of the “knowing”. I allow myself to feel, to wonder, to stay open. I allow myself to listen and to be surprised. I allow myself to realise again and again and again that I do not know.
In allowing myself to surrender to the “I don’t know” I have found a deep relaxation in no longer having to seek answers, of no longer having to fight the unknown with endless reasoning. It is in some way humbling and in so many ways it is showing to be so gentle, so un-arguably true that we can somehow all agree and rest in the deep mystery of life, which is beyond my control.
I have found a vast space in this allowing, this acceptance of uncertainty. It has been humbling in the sense that I have always felt very in charge of my life, taken great care and carried enormous responsibility for everything I feel was caused by my actions, or inactions. So as a human to come down off of that high horse and realise that yes, we play a part in the unfolding of our lives, but it is not only up to us. There are other forces at work that we cannot pretend to comprehend, that we can resist and fight endlessly and yet we will never win. So I am choosing to allow, choosing to surrender to the mystery, to the uncertainty.
It is this uncertainty, the unpredictability and the innate unsafety of life itself is what creates space in me, joy and aliveness. It allows me to trust, to surrender and to give into the mystery of life and death. For now I know that I am alive, that I am free and more than anything this is what I want to be. This also means accepting doubt and worry, fear and loss and endless letting go of all that I thought was certain.
Beyond the pain and sorrow of letting go, beyond having to face the fear and terror of the unknown depth of my own emotions I have found a whole new field of freedom and aliveness that has become my daily adventure. Moving through life with the certainty that nothing is certain has made me take a more playful approach, a lighter one. I discover new things, opinions, thoughts and ideas every day. It has made me less afraid and more open to allow all that differs from my perception to also be there. The moment I let go of control, the fighting stops and allowing begins.
The power is not in the wanting, it is in the allowing.
Charu Eliza Hermsdorf
Co-founder of DIMA Mallorca, A Centre for Conscious Living
Mediator and Conflict counselor at MediateBerlin