Control is based on a mistake, and that mistake is rooted in separation. To be able to relinquish control the mistake has to be corrected. Learning that the world is safe doesn’t happen overnight.
The world as a whole is far too overwhelming, given all the fear and distrust each of us has inherited. But the love you have for one person is a safe zone and thus a good place to begin. The beloved is like a harbor in which your heart takes refuge.
In an indifferent and hostile universe, there is at least one person who understands, sympathizes, and provides for you. Somehow, miraculously, this one person is enough to cancel out the hostile world.
Every day brings many opportunities to replace controlling with allowing. If you can extend allowing to your beloved, the effect is to release you from attachment – both of you are spiritually served by the same act.
The key stances in letting go of control are all forms of allowing: acceptance, tolerance, nonresistance. 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 façade of the demanding, critical partner who is so quick to blame begins to melt. You start to feel love once more, not as an idea but as a sensation in your heart. And at last you find it possible to allow.
When this stage is reached with the beloved, the healing process begins to branch out into other aspects of your life.
Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).