Controlling what can be controlled
I’m still looking for what can be controlled.
It’s less of a disciplined, archeological dig kind of search and more of a curious, exploratory examination of what I can and can’t control.
I’m a Type A person. My job as a project manager requires that I’m Type A, as I basically am in charge of corralling and then driving a bus-load of monkeys in the same direction. I try to bring some lightness and freedom to the party, but for the most part the ENTIRE FREAKING PROJECT RESTS ON MY HEAD TO MANAGE AND DIRECT – WITH A SUCCESSFUL OR NOT SO SUCCESSFUL RESULT.
Photo likely of early project managers trying to keep monkeys in cars
and oriented in the correct direction
So there. One area of my life where I do bring Buddhist principles into play in experimenting with the application of playing with a looser set of strings and for the most part, it helps me and it helps the monkeys in the cars that I work with.
I’ve been dealing with a parent’s illness in the past little while and there too, I’ve had to let go of a lot of my clinging, grasping and wishes to control the situation. I’ve had to turn over the desire to want to micro-manage my parent’s condition and allow some space into the mix for them to deal with their illness how they wish to rather than how I think they should. It’s hard work for my little know-it-all, miss-want-to-help-you mind and rather than be a bossy Bodhisattva, I’ve turned my mind towards compassion for allowing acceptance for the situation really being beyond my control and the perfect, shitty fertile ground for me to examine my patterns, tendencies and to step back from the chaos and allow for a different way of dealing to emerge. It hasn’t been easy. Nope. But it has been essential to my mental health and to the health of my parent who is appreciating my more open ear and heart than my initial bedside manner which was much more like that of the monkey-driver conductor (“Here’s facts on your condition”, “Here are the survival rates” “Eat more veggies” “I’ll buy you a juicer” and on and on).
A week ago during a routine bit of belly rubbing of my older pug Bob, I came across a lump. Fuck. A lump. It was squishy and about the size of a Cadbury Creame Egg. As is usually done when I come across a disorder, disease or malady, I search-engined it up on Google and was met with everything from a simple little inflammation from bug bit all they way up to the big C. I booked my senior pug with his vet and a week later was met with the news that it was a simple fat lump (aka lipoma). While I admit, it had been on my mind throughout the week, I decided to make the conscious effort not to panic and worry myself before the vet visit. Loosening the leash and hoping for the best helped immensely so I gave myself a cookie for being so well behaved.
Owner of fat lump
More and more these reminders come up in daily life. Cue up the Four Reminders here:
- The preciousness of our human birth
- The truth of impermanence and death
- The law of cause and effect (karma)
- The shortcomings of samsara
It’s phenomenal how complex it is seems when we are so far away from being connected with the true nature of our mind, but yet it is so very simple. I continue to work on it, but to work on it in a slack, non Type A kind of way because being strict with this is defeating the purpose itself.