We say that we bring the greatest troubles upon ourselves with our unrealistic expectations and desires…
Take for example the desire to control. We say things like:
- “I want absolute control over outcomes, other people, behaviors, and all other matters.”
- “Everything should happen how I want it to, in my preferred way, at the speed I want, and right when I want it to.”
- “I want to experience only certain things and avoid everything else.”
- “People should think, feel, and behave the way I want them to.”
- “Why am I obliged to consider how I talk to people?”
So, what next?
When we express such desires in life, we know they are unrealistic, even when we are directly responsible for a certain outcome or the behavior of a person.
This responsibility in us comes from a sense to lead, manage, and nurture, but we still live, think, and behave according to expectations and desires.
In fact, we can find traces of our control addiction in all the false expectations that mislead us. On no account do we want others to love us, but controlling their feelings and thoughts is far more important to us. Above all, we want to be seen as “innocent.”
In the story of Adam and Eve, it never mentions the name of the tree from which they ate the forbidden fruit before being cast out of Eden.
No, it’s not just an apple tree. Of course, there was an apple, but that’s not really the subject at hand. Nor is it sex, as is reflected in popular culture. In the holy books, it is referred to as the “Knowledge Tree,” the tree of knowledge for the sense of right and wrong.
The ancient wisdom says, “No one who assumes the responsibility of decision-maker can remain in heaven. Such people cannot claim they are innocent.” This is because our decisions will inevitably affect others. As long as we make decisions, they will make some people happy and some sad, while others will be indifferent. If you do not accept this, you can never be free…
That said, so many leaders and managers bring trouble upon their followers or establishments because they see this reality! So many parents, spouses, friends, and children do not do the things that need to be done or express the things that need to be expressed, because such actions and words may not be popular and trigger opposition and discontent…
We see this vital and healthy action of holding the line as loving and compassionate, with its purpose being to give an image of “innocence” or a feeling of being beloved within ourselves. In the short term, while it may cause more anguish and harm to people, I say I love them. I say this to my family, to my children, to my spouse, to my employees, and to my establishment…
What’s more, we want guarantees. We want everything we do, all of our actions, to deliver the desired outcome. We assume this will be good. Sometimes, if there’s no guarantee, we avoid taking action, forgetting that this ensures our desires will never come true…
Fairness is defined as the occurrence of everything we want, in the way we want, at the speed we want, and at the moment we want. We blame everyone who does not support us in this, disregarding how unfair this attitude is…
While we pursue control, “innocence,” guarantees, “fairness,” and ultimately the absolute and permanent feeling of satisfaction, we miss how the most important matters in life slip through our fingers, namely responsibility and power…
Whatever happens to us, whatever the situations and circumstances we end up in, we have the responsibility and power to determine what is in our hearts and minds. We can decide what we pay attention to, how we act in accordance with our values, and the lofty goals we dedicate ourselves to. This is responsibility and power for whatever we think, whatever we feel, and whatever we do at any particular moment, affecting our destinies in the process…
Accepting this responsibility and power is a logical process, and it may even excite you. It may be a heartS-touching moment for you, my dear reader. It’s the easiest thing in the world to pursue the satisfaction of the familiar desires: control, “innocence,” guarantees, and “fairness.” Unfortunately, these pave the way to effects and issues that cannot be overestimated…
This discussion will continue in an upcoming article…
Dost Can Deniz
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