Pinky and the BrainCredit: DVD cover

Control issues plague so many people who don’t know it. Most of them are in a position of authority, or so they think. Control problems often start with an illusion of control over people, places or things.

Both words, authority, control have the same synonym which is the word power. Really, the power to influence or command or control is just lip service for anyone who considers themselves as an authority figure. The reason, or really, the fact is that authority over others is self deception. Consider this in current events, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is commonly considered an authoritarian leader. He is currently powerless over his countrymen, even the army. Unless everyone running around is a clone of you, you cannot possibly have control or authority over anyone. Heartbreaking as that may seem, it really is more freeing than sad!

There is fear and darkness associated with the realization that you are unable to control, keep under your control, or increase your control. It is scairy to surrender to the fact that you are not in control. However, an easier way to perceive that is to remember this saying, “If God is my co-pilot, then I am in the wrong seat.” By God, I mean anything you perceive as greater than yourself, because your experience of God is what counts. Defining God just limits God. So, saying you believe in your experience of God is all that matters. Darkness makes most of us feel like we have little control. We can’t control the outcome of our next step in the dark, until our eyes adjust to the light in the dark. Then we can see the stars. So, maybe stop associating fear and darkness with loss or lack of control, and realize to control is just an illusion, helps.

Authority exposed is not only evident in world leaders, but parents, too. Yikes, whenever could you control the reactions and behavior of your kids? Maybe, if you starved or beat them they gave you the illusion that you had them under your control, but once they were out of site, the loss of control was evident.

Another great example is trying to control a pet. What, I ask, is the point of dog walking (in a place where a leash is required), and letting your dog run leashless, only to have to show your total lack of control over Rover’s jumping up on an innocent walker who has no dog. “He’s friendly,” you holler, as he nearly knocks innocent walker over. Ahh, this occurs daily, probably more often, and I say it’s time to accept powerlessness over people, places and things.

Powerless doesn’t mean helpless. Helpless has more to do with defenseless. Once you realize control is an illusion (you accept powerlessness), then you can help yourself to stop obsessing that some new miracle of control will be recovered and your old illusive authority can be regained.

The demand for authority and control consistently backfires and ends up accompanied by instability, protest, and an effective way of pushing loved ones further away. One great old cartoon, Pinky and the Brain , is the best example of not getting that the authority control trip is a total illusion. Everyday Pinky asks Brain what he is going to do, and Brain tells him of some plot to control the world. Hilariously, they set out to accomplish the feat, and always end up with the inability to control.