Stillness 5: CONTROL

So, we’ve talked about Good Love, Big Picture, Flexibility and Confidence.  The next thing we’re going to talk about is Control of Your Life. 

Now, a strange thing happens about stillness, when we feel out of control we can’t be still, we get stressed.  Now this is a really big problem for people and the definition of out of control really changes from person to person.  Nobody can say, control this and you’re going to have stillness, control that and you’re going to have stillness because this idea of control depends on where our problems are and where our buttons are.  Like, some people really want to control their relationship, some people really want to control their money, some people really want to control their home, and so these senses of things we identify as most important to have control over, give us the security and that security can give us stillness.  And that stillness inside of us can’t exist in turbulence, when we’ve got fear or insecurity happening. 

So, I’m going to talk here about three core issues for control.  A lot of people would agree that these are the three basic areas of control issue.  Now, the first one is we need to control our money.  A lot of people would want to separate stillness or spirituality or the inner experience of life, from money.  But the fact of that matter is if you don’t know where the next dollar’s coming from or your rent’s only paid a week out and you don’t know where the next rent cheque’s coming from, or if you’ve got bills coming in and your income is not matching your bills, it’s very, very hard to find stillness because your mind’s spinning around going, how am I going to pay the bills, how am I going to survive under these circumstances? 

This is called desperation.  Desperation is not an insult to people who are in this position.  Desperation is kind of like saying, that’s an emotion that comes up.  People will feel desperate and even though they’re good people, that desperation will possibly lead them to do things that are not healthy.  Desperate employees, for example, cheat on the boss.  A desperate housekeeper will steal things, a desperate partner will have affairs.  So, desperation is a sense of urgency.  It’s a revelation that the stillness is completely gone and there’s a sense of panic set in.  “Fight and Flight” is the psychological term for it but I don’t know a lot about that.  What I’m actually saying here is, inner stillness cannot exist in a turbulent world and one of the things that causes people turbulence in their inner world is the insecurity that comes from lack of money.

So, we need to have money in the bank and the average assumption is that if you’ve got three months worth of expenses in cash in the bank, you’re OK.  So, if my expenses on a weekly basis were say, $300 or $400, I’d need that, multiplied by 12, which is three months, at four weeks every month, multiplied by 12, I’d need that amount of money in cash in my bank, to sit there and feel relaxed about money.  Now that includes my rent, my food, my insurances, all the things that I need to live.  If my income got stopped tomorrow and I didn’t have that amount of cash in the bank then I would be nervous.  And that nervousness undermines us, undermines our inspiration, undermines our stillness, undermines our health, undermines everything.

The next area of control that people really, really aspire to is their environment.  Now, controlling your environment means your house, your home.  And you know, there’s a lot of people around the world who really suffer from this problem in that they have no security around their home.  Either war or poverty or landlords or things, can create an incredible instability in a person’s home life, and under those circumstances, stillness in the family is really hard.  Everybody’s a little bit tense and in extreme situations, they’re extremely tense.

So, what we recommend here, if that’s an issue for you, is to get control of your home life by either owning your own home or having a mortgage or by renting a property that’s not too expensive for you and making sure that under no circumstances can someone kick you out of your home unless you want to be kicked out or you want to move on.  And having a fall back position on this is really important.  In other words, if you did lose your home, what would you do?  Who would look after you and who would help you?  And having this fall back gives you a sense of place.

Now, I recently shared my apartment with somebody who’s a perfectly great person but I lost my sense of personal space and my home is my personal space, so for me, my home life, the objects and art that I have around my home and the space that I have, is very, very, very important.  In fact it’s one of the most important things in my own life.  Therefore, I’m not suggesting that’s the same for everyone but I’m saying, if for me, when my home life is disturbed and I don’t feel a sense of place and I don’t have a sense of privacy in my own home, then I feel very invaded and destabilised. 

Now, that also goes for kids.  Sometimes in your home the kids run the house, from the back door to the front door, from the side to the side, they have complete control and I think this is very inappropriate, very inappropriate because it gives us no sense of space for ourselves.  So, I think in houses where there are children, there needs to be “No Go” zones, where if the door’s shut, it’s really shut and it’s not to be knocked on or tampered with.  That’s place.

Now, the last one is relationship.  In all of the consulting work I’ve done around the world, relationship really is the trigger that causes so much instability for people and there’s a lot of people who believe if they can trust their relationship, the money and the home life can be tolerated, the home security can be tolerated if they’ve got a good relationship.  And so, I understand where those people are coming from.  To create a strong relationship is very important and if we’re vulnerable, and if we feel vulnerable to our partner cheating on us or hurting us or running away from us, then the fact of the matter is we’re not going to have a sense of stillness because there’s a thousand, thousand opportunities in a day for them to go and run away and do what we’re afraid of. 

So, we need to get over this idea that there is a vulnerability in a relationship because people will say, he did this to me, and she did that to me, but the truth of the matter is, blaming people for the vulnerability that we have in a relationship, this empowers us.  If we say, she did this or he did that, we’re saying, they have the power and I’m the poor victim sitting here.  You’re far wiser in relationships to say, I caused this.  I caused that to happen in the past.  My partner in the past had an affair.  I caused it because I didn’t have any sense of clarity of my own life or I hung onto them too tight or I’m so infatuated with them they felt uncomfortable.  And infatuation, as much as for the giver of infatuation, it feels like they’re giving so much love, to the receiver of infatuation, the receiver wants to run away and typically they run away into the arms of somebody else. 

So, it’s really wise, to create a sense of control in your life, to say, my partner cannot do anything bad.  My partner cannot do anything bad unless I cause it.  And I need to therefore be mindful of what I’m causing.  I need to be mindful of my behaviour and my attitudes and make sure that I’m not the trigger for my partner doing something which is going to destabilise my life. 

And that’s what the book I wrote, Sacred Love, was all about.  It was just understanding the five principles that keep couples glued together.  And when I say, glued, I really, sincerely mean glued.  A couple who are living in sacred love cannot come apart.  There’s no way either of them can walk away from it.  They might try or they might pretend, but they can’t walk away from it.  That relationship is sacred and it’s just completely magnetised those two people together.  But I don’t see too many people really implementing the process, the five steps of sacred love.  They take pieces of it, or bits of it and say, this is what I’m doing but it’s the whole package of five steps of sacred love.  Finding stillness, which is what we’re talking about.  Dealing with appreciation and romance, growing through the challenges, getting some common dreams together and the fifth one is making sure love is a lifestyle.