If we can let go of this illusion, what are we left with? How can we live among this chaos?
Consider the fish. A fish swims in a chaotic sea that it cannot possibly control — much as we all do.
The fish, unlike us, is under no illusion that it controls the sea, or other fish in the sea.
The fish doesn’t even try to control where it ends up — it just swims, either going with the flow or dealing with the flow as it comes. It eats, and hides, and mates, but does not try to control a thing.
We are no better than that fish, yet our thinking creates the need for an illusion.
Let go of that thinking. Learn to be the fish.
When we are in the midst of chaos, let go of the need to control it. Be awash in it, experience it in that moment, try not to control the outcome but deal with the flow as it comes.
How do we live our lives like this? It’s a completely different way of living, once we let go of the illusion:
- We stop setting goals, and instead do what excites us.
- We stop planning, and just do.
- We stop looking at the future, and live in the moment.
- We stop trying to control others, and focus instead on being kind to them.
- We learn that trusting our values is more important to taking action than desiring and striving for certain outcomes.
- We take each step lightly, with balance, in the moment, guided by those values and what we’re passionate about … rather than trying to plan the next 1,000 steps and where we’ll end up.
- We learn to accept the world as it is, rather than being annoyed with it, stressed by it, mad at it, despaired by it, or trying to change it into what we want it to be.
- We are never disappointed with how things turn out, because we never expected anything — we just accept what comes.
This might seem like a passive way of living to some, and it’s against our aggressive, productive, goal-oriented cultural nature. If you can’t accept this way of living, that’s OK — many people live their lives with the illusion of control, and not realizing what it is that makes them unhappy or frustrated isn’t the worst thing ever.
But if you can learn to live this way … it’s the most freeing and stress reducing thing in the world.