Happily Let Go of the Desire To Control

We are obviously not in control of everything. When we take an honest look at the immensity of what is beyond our control, it is a wonder that we would even try. In all of our years here, we have not even been able to gain more than very limited and temporary control over just our own mind and body – and virtually no control over the natural environment, other living beings, and so on. Yet, despite our tremendous lack of control, many of us still have such a strong desire to be in control that we feel compelled to keep trying – even though our attempts to do so our are causing us almost constant anxiety, frustration, and misery.

anxiety and frustration

So why do we do it? Why do we continue to try to control what is beyond our control?

Because we think we will find the happiness, peace, and satisfaction that we are longing for in manipulating material circumstances to our liking. We think if we can just control things enough, we will actually be happy and fulfilled – and remain so.

But the reality is that material things and circumstances can never bring us real and lasting happiness. Not simply because we can never completely control them, but because we are made of spiritual energy, not matter. Material things can stimulate temporary and superficial pleasure sensations in the mind and body, but they can never actually touch us – the spiritual being that is temporarily wearing the material mind and body.

According to the ancient yoga scriptures and other bonafide scriptures of the world, we are not the material body or the mind – we are eternal spiritual beings temporarily wearing the material mind and body. The gross physical body can be compared to outer clothes and the mind or subtle energy body can be compared to under clothes. Just as we are not the clothes we are wearing, we are not the material bodies we are wearing either.

temporary material body and mind

Even if somehow we could find a way to control all of material existence and enjoy material circumstances exactly to our liking – we still would be deeply unhappy, unsatisfied, and empty in the core of our hearts. Because we are spiritual beings, only that which is of our same nature – spiritual – can actually deeply nourish us and fulfill our desire for meaningful connection and happiness. In order to be truly happy and satisfied, we don’t need material influence or opulence. What we need can only be found in consciously connecting with our spiritual Source.

In the yoga scriptures, the recommended method for linking up with our spiritual Source is mantra meditation. A true mantra is not something anyone makes up. It is the Absolute Truth in sound vibration. This spiritual sound vibration descends from the spiritual platform to the material world without losing any of its potency. In mantra meditation, a person hears and chants or sings this spiritual sound and thus puts themselves in the direct presence of the Supreme. This has a profound purifying effect on our consciousness.

Through mantra meditation, we begin to taste the sweetness of spiritual happiness, which nourishes our deepest needs and restores our innermost health and vitality. With regular, sincere practice of this hearing and repeating the meditation and chanting, our hearts and minds gradually become purified of material misconceptions. And as these false ideas fall away, we can clearly see that looking to the material world to try to fulfill our spiritual needs only leads to misery and frustration. Thus, instead of wasting our valuable time and energy trying to manipulate external circumstances to our liking, we use our resources to realize happiness where it can actually be found – within our true nature and the loving relationship with the Supreme that is inseparable from it.

fulfilled through spiritual happiness

The more we are fulfilled through spiritual happiness, the less we desire to control others or our external circumstances. Instead of trying to control, we give our best to each situation in a humble attitude of love and service, fully understanding that ultimate outcome is not in our hands, but rests safely with the Supreme source of life. In this way, we discover the deep and lasting joy, peace, and satisfaction that we have been searching for all our lives.