We all strive to live independent lives in which we make decisions freely and avoid being controlled by other people, circumstances and objects, right?
Nope. That’s completely wrong. My experience is that we spend our lives surrendering our freedom to just about anyone or anything at just about any time. At least I seem to.
Some examples for illustration:
1. I work in a job that requires me to be at work between 8am and 5pm. Why? I can’t think of a single reason why that’s a good idea. And yet I do it.
I’d much rather work shorter hours at flexible times with the ability to work remotely, even if it cost me a portion of my earnings. And yet I seem wiling to surrender control of the most useful time of every weekday of my life to someone else, simply because they pay me a salary.
2. I have lots of stuff. Possessions have to be stored, maintained, insured and used. In that way, any material possessions I have that I don’t really need are simply black holes that take away my time, money and space. In being reluctant to reduce the amount of stuff I have, I am allowing my possessions to control me.
3. I complain about circumstances that I can change, but I don’t change them. Do I think I have the perfect job for me? No. Do I manage my money well? No. Do I live where I want to? No. Do I manage my time well enough to do the things I want to do? No.
I do complain about those circumstances though, and that’s ridiculous. I am the only person in the world who has the power to change them. Yet I instead surrender control of my own life to the circumstances I find myself in.
Looking at the above, which is just a small sample of the ways in which I surrender control in my life, I am able to draw some conclusions. I allow other people, circumstances and objects to control my time, space, attention, emotions, money and location. More or less my entire life.
Consequently, I’m depressed. In context, that’s really not surprising at all.
I want to live an independent life in which I make decisions freely and avoid being controlled by other people, circumstances and objects. My choices don’t reflect that desire, however, and that’s a source of significant daily internal conflict.
Perhaps it’s time to take control of my life. Even if I do it wrong (whatever that means); even if I fail; even if it’s scary as hell.