The paradox of all paradoxes occurs when something that appears contraindicated leads to exactly what you are looking for in life. Happiness, often maligned and dismissed or over-exalted and worshipped, is found in control, not in letting loose; in reigning in, not in unbridling; in checks and balances, not in removing the boundaries. The good life demands you take charge of yourself. Control yourself to happiness…
I submit that the part of life you have failed to control, for whatever reason, is the primary contributing cause of your difficulties and your struggles. Corruption and deterioration have to find a way in and exist only when allowed or invited. Decay follows that which is not maintained and control is that maintenance. The let loose life (and believe me I’ve spent too much time there) let’s loose both fun and pain. But, the pain always exceeds the fun in unfulfilled life and pervasive unhappiness. Sure, there is always a balance with religion being the polar opposite of ungoverned anarchy. Religion adds in checks where there are no checks and limitations imposed not for future bliss but for the intended misery of the occupant. Too much control strips life of its variety and blessings ever pointing the one controlled to his own lack and deficiencies. Religion is not control but rather a fear induced and fear motivated attempt at escaping something thus far imagined or experienced, yet not producing a remedy but instead more fear! The control that leads to happiness is never found there.
Thought allowed to run rampant whithersoever it leads is the bane of man’s existence. It repudiates order and stands in active defiance to the system God designed for man. It results in a misery then blamed on God, though encouraged and endorsed by the individual. No wonder as the message of the world is ever “all is to be welcomed” and all may be experienced. While all things are lawful for me, all things are not expedient. Though God has made free to do as I please, rotten and painful results help shape my future decisions. Thus control is not engendered as a response to fear but rather as a humble attempt at locating what is best. Just as joy encourages perseverance towards the goal, control promises liberty and happiness days with no end.
The question is not what is wrong with you but rather what category or categories of your life have you let go? What do you love so much that you over indulge in it? What vices have long since replaced problem solving or have promised peace by soothing and numbing? What thing pops up over and over and over as a lesson unengaged? If you are unhappy there is such a thing, promising you liberty yet putting chains on your soul. Controlling yourself isn’t arduous, refusing to is. Control is nothing more than the discipline required to compete successfully. Once disqualified you’re no longer eligible for the prize. Get the prize!
I have proven to myself as the ultimate fun lover and pleasure seeker that the more I loose the restraints the more restrained I have become. Yet the simple application of a diet or commitment to exercise or a sustained abstinence from some thing, the happier I have become in increased proportion to my efforts. Yet my happiness hasn’t followed some grand morality or complete change of being, but following instead some small discipline I’m quite capable of achieving. Thus the lesson is clear, check and balance that which you can check and balance and enjoy the unchecked blessings that accompany.
The starting point for you in your quest is to locate an area, decided by you and never by another, that you can apply some discipline to, such as “no more of this thing on the weekdays” or “no sugar for three weeks” or “3 times per week at the gym no matter what!” Do so and you will find that not only do you immediately begin to feel better following your decision, but that the small decision starts to transcend into other categories of your life. It’s as if God cannot get you to step 7 until you have at least begun with step 1 and persisted through steps 4, 5, and 6.
The happy fellow or happy gal you have been observing with eyes askant will, almost as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow, already be engaged in this process applying limits as required and learned. It’s a mark of human maturity and seems hard to learn without having lived on the other side. Just as a child flitters from place to place with unbridled happiness, will also eat the whole bag of M&M’s to their stomach’s demise. It takes years lived to finally see, if you ever see, that control is not only expected but required.
Take the reigns of your own life and leave no aspect of yourself in the hands of another! Let no good thing be relegated to chance and circumstance. Instead of railing and screeching at the conditions of your life, control yourself and those things applicable directly to you. If it is yours, address it. If you own it, care for it. If you’re responsible to steward it, guard it and keep it and watch over it! Your body like your car can run a long time with little maintenance but when it dies it is really dead! But, a little care applied here and there and most issues are simply resolved. Discipline is a choice and a lack of discipline is also a choice. Choose wisely!
In short my friends, “Be the boss of your own butt” and see if you don’t have the best ‘glutes’ in town!
Just some good thoughts…