‘Losing Control’ as a Growth Opportunity


originally posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012


So, you make a conscious decision to throw yourself away from balance, for a reason, for a purpose.


Because you think you can control how far out of balance the pendulum will swing?

Wrong!  Think again.

Here’s the rub.  We don’t mind being consciously ‘out of balance’ in our lives, personally or professionally, when we think we can ‘control’ the ‘out of balance’; quite the oxymoron….but we are human, so we do such things.

There are all kinds of metaphors we can dredge up and plenty of memories.

Then, there is the present stark reality, my most recent, personal example.

I’ve been fostering a dog for the past many weeks.  The guidelines were clear, or so I thought.  Isn’t that the way with so many things in life?  We fool ourselves with the thought that the path is well marked.

We make a conscious, thoughtful choice.  We know that choice won’t be easy but there are guidelines and rules which give us a sense of control over the process.

Then, life gets in the way. We realize there is no such thing as a clear  process.  (Oh, maybe that’s the lesson we aren’t interested in acknowledging?)

The foster dog has several issues.  He is 3 1/2, not 2, as his online bio stated, and has never been socialized and was likely treated poorly, given his initial, extreme nervousness around us.

Besides his poor manners, he has an issue that he cannot control.  He dribbles urine—everywhere.

I am a “foster mom” for this dog, not a “dog whisperer”.  I’m a person who values tidiness and I function best in a clean environment, especially for my work, which I do from my home office.

My thoughtful, carefully controlled, conscious act of taking on something outside of my comfort zone, knowing it would move me away from balance, has thrown that pendulum beyond my reach.  Uh Oh!

So, life throws you a curve ball, an unexpected event in your carefully controlled scenario.

The idea of an idealized ‘out of control’ situation flies out the window.

Then, in this case, the ‘problem’ crawls most of his 70 pound black lab frame into your lap and looks into your eyes.

There is an understanding passed between your eyes and his.

The crucial question; is life being enriched by this decision, despite the lack of control over all parameters?


That’s life.  Getting back toward balance will come, at some unknown, but tangible, time.

‘Inner Progress’ is hard work.

We come to realize that not being in control is reality.  How do we feel and react to that reality? In this case, the gains are worth the “surprises”.

Life happens because of, or in spite of, our best intentions.

We choose our attitude about our choice of how we will deal with the situation.

That’s it.



P.S. 48 hours after writing this in draft form, an adoptive family appeared! Full disclosure about the “dribbling”issue. They weren’t concerned. 6 days have passed. They are so happy together! Ahhh! Our foster dog found the perfect home!

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