"How hard it is to control ourselves from controlling others!"
Defining Outward Control
Outward control is defined here as the desire to control others, to change the way other people do things so that it matches our ideals.
This desire can be experienced in moments when we meet another Self that is quite different to us, for instance, in the way they think about things, approach particular tasks, live their lives, interact with people, and so forth.
When one becomes attached to the need to control others, one can experience the suffering states of mind when one fails to control them.
In this article, we will explore the cause of such an attachment and the ways to release it.
Outward Control In Depth
Clarifying The Journey
The focus of this article is in addressing the unhappiness one can experience when one feels the need to control others rather than on the topic of whether controlling others is good or bad.
So, this article is more about addressing the unhappiness one can experience when one is around people who are quite different from oneself. How one wishes to deal with them at the outer level, i.e. avoid them, argue with them, converse with them, is up to one to exercise their own wisdom and choice.
Naturally, as one transforms their controlling mind, one will begin to approach their experiences in different ways. So, instead of focusing on executing "perfect" actions on the outside, one can simply focus on working transforming their mind. When one is so focused on the right things to do on the outside, one can end up doing no work in the world inside.
Thus, the journey of addressing our desires to control others will mainly be an inward journey of learning more about ourselves: in becoming aware of the ways we are reacting negatively to others on the inside, and how deeply we have become attached to the desire to control them when we experience such unhappiness.
The practice of meditation can be especially helpful for one to develop an awareness of what's happening within oneself in every moment. Through the practice, one can will be able to know more about their attachments towards controlling others because the more one encounter wandering thoughts about controlling others that are difficult to let go, the more one will learn more about their attachments.
Realize that without meditation, one can believe that they don't have a controlling mind. But it's only through experiencing the controlling thoughts that are happening within and trying to let them go that one can truly know how deeply they have become attached.
For instance, one may think that they are doing many in life things out of love, for instance, telling their kids to eat healthy food, advocating veganism to others to protect the animals, promoting one's own religion so that others can achieve salvation, but it's only by looking within that one can find how much of that desire to love is actually the need to control others.
From a deeper perspective, the desire to change others is no different than the desire to reject others. Because to accept, is to love everyone for who they are, all their imperfections, and wrongdoings.
Importance Of Addressing Outward Control
Living a life attempting to control people all the time is a life of suffering because it will be a path that is filled with anger and frustration. How difficult is it to control others? Unless you hold someone at gunpoint or you end up being their superiors, you will find that people are extremely difficult to change. You will gradually realize this truth as you try to change others, and also, yourself.
Thus, the only way to be happy is to develop an Accepting Mind rather than a Controlling Mind.
To the controlling mind, the world can appear to be filled with stupid and unreasonable people. However, to the Accepting Mind, the world is simply filled with unique and different people.
The suffering state of mind that will often accompany a Controlling Mind is anger. To learn more about anger, see Catalyst - Anger.
Do you often try to control what other people are thinking and doing?
Path Of Creator
Outward Control In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey of transforming a Controlling Mind begins with one developing the awareness of its presence.
Even if one is not controlling others on the outside, it does not necessarily mean that one doesn't have a Controlling Mind. To develop the awareness, one needs to look within and connect with their reactions, i.e. the feelings and emotions that they experience every day.
The practice of meditation can help to greatly accelerate the journey of Self-Knowing and Self-Transformation. Without meditation, one can become stuck in the states of anger and confusion when they encounter someone that they don't like, making it difficult for one to step back to learn more about oneself through the experience.
The other way to develop Self-Knowing is to refrain oneself from vocally expressing their desires to control others because doing so can generate more negative reactions within. One can then simply observe the desires happening within and ask questions such as—
"What am I rejecting about that person?"
"What can I not accept about that person?"
"What do I want that person to do, think, say in this situation?"
Alternatively, one can also express their desires to control others vocally to explore their negative reactions deeper. However, without the practice of this meditation, this can often turn into a reactive experience rather than a learning experience.
At The Idea Level
To know the deepest cause for having a controlling mind, one will have to explore their Negative Ideas. Catalyst - Negative Ideas in detail.
These can be understood as the ideas of Right and Wrong that one has become attached to.
Realize that when we create ideas of Right and Wrong and become attached to them, it will drive us with the desire to control others whenever they appear "wrong" to our minds. This is because whenever our Negative Ideas are triggered, the suffering states of mind will be experienced withinin. For example, one will experience discomfort, pain, anger, negative feelings and thoughts through their entire being. From this perspective, the desire to control others can be understood as the desire to escape the inner pains that one is experiencing within. Because one does not know any other way to alleviate the inner pains, the only solution one really has is to control others until they are no longer "imperfect."
But the true solution is to address the cause that began the whole suffering process, which is to transform and release their ideas of Right and Wrong.
To discover these ideas, one can write down a list of what one is not ok with to explore them deeper, for instance, these ideas could be—
"It is not ok to be rude."
"It is not ok to be stupid."
"It is not ok to be silly."
"It is not ok to be loud."
And so forth. There can be countless forms of Negative Ideas that one could have become attached to.
To transform and release the Negative Ideas will involve the journey of developing Self-Acceptance—of refining one's Knowing of Love so that one can accept oneself and others unconditionally.
To learn the various ways of developing Self-Acceptance, one can explore the Catalysts Section of this website.
But generally speaking, by simply carrying the intention to Accept all the people and life experiences one encounters every day is enough for one to refine the Knowing of Self-Acceptance even more. See Catalyst - Self-Acceptance in Depth.
Once one can accept all there is, one will no longer feel the need to control others because within Accepting mind, one will no longer experience suffering, thus without a reason to control anything.
Know and Transform The Self!
Reading articles helps with understanding, but to transform the mind, one realizes the truth from experience.
For such an enlightening journey, the Self-Transformation Course has everything you will ever need!