The key stances in letting go of control are all forms of allowing: Acceptance, tolerance, non-resistance. Needing to control life, either yours or anyone else’s, is based on spiritual desperation. Look at your interaction with your beloved and honestly confront any fear-based behavior you are exhibiting. When control is ready to loosen its grip, a definite relaxation takes place. The following changes will often be in evidence:
1. You stop measuring people by whether they live up to your expectations. You begin to resist the urge to correct their mistakes and give unwanted advice.
2. You lessen your habit of taking care of others without really caring for them.
3. You become tired of trying to keep track of every detail in your life and bored with people who have always given in to you.
4. You begin to listen to objections and disagreements instead of using them to trigger your own opinion.
5. Unexpected emotions come to the surface. This usually arouses self-criticism because you can’t control your feelings anymore as you once did. At another level, however, this eruption of emotions comes as a great relief.
6. Your impatience begins to lessen. You stop living according to the clock.
7. You take stress seriously, no longer believing that you thrive on it.
8. You begin to listen to your body, which has all along been giving you signals of tightness, fatigue, contraction, and over-stimulation.
9. Your mind gives up calculating every move in advance. Some room is made for spontaneity.
10. You stop holding grudges and remembering slights. Resentment begins to be replaced by tolerance.
11. You quit setting external goals for yourself and believing that achieving these goals faster, better and more tirelessly makes you a good person.
Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).