Who remembers playing on a teeter-totter as a child? Two kids on opposite sides of a plank utilize their weight to hoist the other one up in the air. It was good fun for several minutes, but imagine a life time of going up & down, up & down, up… You get the picture.
Everything in life has it’s opposite. Night has day, summer has winter, happy has sad. When we reach these extremes for any period of time, we want to go to the other. Take the current winter storms in the north and east. People are sick of shoveling snow, roads and schools closed, and cold, most of all the cold. It was beautiful for Christmas, but now they want summer, winter’s opposite.
Our lives swing back and forth every day, as we reach one extreme we move towards it’s opposite and it all boils down to control. As human beings we want, may I dare say, even need to be in control of our lives. When we lose that control, slipping to no control or being controlled, we push back, we fight we strive to take back that control, sometimes at disastrous costs.
The severity and ferocity of that push back is dependent upon the length of time and degree to which we haven’t had control. Think of it like a rubber band. When you pull it back, the moment you let go it snaps back. If you only drew it back a little bit, the recoil isn’t that severe. However, if you draw it all the way back, stretching it to it’s limits, it can be quite painful when released; or worse the entire band can snap catching you off guard.
We have a great deal of controls taught to us from our earliest years. “Sit up straight.” “Mind your manners.” “Don’t say that word.” We become conditioned by these controls to the point that they shape our thoughts, our actions and our lives.
So what can you do about it? After all aren’t some of these controls necessary? When someone cuts us off in traffic and we get the urge to ram our car into their’s it is those ingrained societal controls that keep us from doing so. Just like the ride on that teeter-totter, control can be fun, but within reason. Control makes a friendly game of cards fun for everyone, but when taken too far, it can suck the happiness out of any experience.
When it comes to anything in life, especially control, you have to find the balance. The point where both sides are equal. You can usually recognize this point by the smile on your face. If you don’t have it, look at your life closely, something is being controlled beyond the point of fun.