There’s a hurricane heading for the East coast. If you live anywhere near me, you have been inundated with the news and warnings about it. That’s a good thing within reason. We all need to be prepared for things like this. We need to take precautions. Everyone’s survival skills kick in. The grocery stores are emptied. The gas stations are swamped. There is not a bottle of water to be found. Schools are preparing to close. People are getting sand bags ready. It is all people can talk about. And while I am certainly taking some precautions, I also find myself acting normally. Internally I feel no change at all.
Why? I am always preparing for a hurricane. Don’t get me wrong. I am not always watching the weather so closely. I am not always buying water or filling up the car with gas when it is only half empty. But I am always preparing. I am always planning. I am always watching. I am always looking for the next thing that will take me out. I live a hyper-vigilant life in a world that is unpredictable. And let’s face it. Hurricanes are not the worst thing that can happen. We know they’re coming for days. When I was a child, the storms in my house were must less predictable and they weren’t forecasted on the news. I had to be constantly watching.
My controller is the part who is so incredibly skilled at hyper-vigilance. They started learning these skills at a very young age. I have noticed the increased development of the controller in my young twins as they headed off to middle school the past two weeks. My kids were stressed heading into this new environment. But it appears that the first week of middle school is devoted to scaring the hell out of the children.
Don’t be late more than twice or we will call your mom. (I dare them.)
Don’t get a bad grade or it will affect your college choices. (They are in the 6th frickin grade.)
Don’t lose your gym clothes or your Chromebook or we will charge you lots of money. (It doesn’t work.)
Controllers eat this stuff up. They live for it. It is fuel for their fire. I have spent the past two weeks explaining to my children that the world will not end if they get a C or show up 1 minute late because their locker door got stuck. I can see their little controllers kicking into overdrive as they listen to this nonsense from the “real” world. I can see how they will spend the first ten years of their adult lives running like crazy to keep up with all the nonsensical rules from society. Then I can see how they will spend the next twenty years of their adult lives wondering why they are so tired and depressed. And then I can see how they will spend the rest of their adult lives trying to unlearn all the garbage thrown at them. Let’s face it. Preparing for a hurricane every day is exhausting. But that’s what they’re learning right now. I think we can all relate to this one statement from my 11-year-old son (going on 25).
“Mom, I am containing it. But inside I am freaking out!”
But what would happen if all of our controllers calmed down at one time? What would the world look like? I have some ideas.
We would all slow down. Now you are going to yell at me about what a rotten idea that would be because you are controller-enmeshed. But when people slow down, they can think about what really matters. They can connect in with themselves. They can look at what they really want and stop focusing on what everyone else wants.
We would stop following rules. I am not talking about important rules. I am not suggesting we should all become vigilantes or criminals. But we would question the rules that don’t make sense. We would ask if we are really doing things the best way. We would consider change for the better. We would question the way it has always been done.
We would stop caring about what other people think. When we slow down and question the rules, we wake up. And we start to realize that those who are rushing and never questioning anything are still living the Zombie Apocalypse. Yes, it’s real. We are living it. Once we realize others are asleep, their opinions matter much, MUCH less.
So let’s stop preparing for hurricanes (not literally). Let’s question the rules. Let’s examine the real reason we are running and running and running. And let’s consider our motives for our actions. If your first thought is about how others will feel about it, it’s not the best first thought. When the anxiety comes up, write from it. The more you see it in writing, the more you see it with your conscious mind. Then you will see the ridiculousness of the running. When you can see how your inner controller is running your mind, you are seeing that you are not the controller. You are the grounded observer, the adult self, and you can make other choices. You can wake up.