The Thumb That’s Holding You Down Contains Your Fingerprint - Grasshopper
And speaking of digits, finger pointing is a global game whose sole aim is to assess blame.
When you assign blame or claim being under another's control, you have poured concrete into an illusion and given it substance - at least in your mind.
The Rolling Stones recorded a song called, Under My Thumb. It recounts the story of tables turning in a relationship where the balance of control dramatically shifts from one person to another. The lyrics go like this:
The song has an infectious beat and the lyrics have been lauded by men who desire retribution and control and castigated by women as sexist and controlling.
Under my thumb
The girl who once had me down
Under my thumb
The girl who once pushed me around
What the lyrics really do is underscore the illusion known as control.
Notice that when the tide is going in our favor, we claim control and take credit. When it's going in the other direction, we assess blame and claim another is in control.
The tide of life is reality. It continues to churn out wave after wave. If we consult the tide charts, we seem to be able to exact some measure of control over this force. Unfortunately, the charts cannot predict the storms that reality can touch off without a moment's notice. That's when we look for someone to blame.
When we assign blame, we temporarily feel better. What escapes our notice during this respite is that our situation doesn't change because of blame. It's still the situation no matter whose fault it is.
The biggest fear we have in life is being helpless - being out of control and not being able to effectuate any change.
The grand illusionist, the ego, has convinced us that there is something called control. When we get it, all will be well. And when we cannot get it, someone or something is preventing us from having it. The blame game begins and never seems to end, and the idea of control holds us in place.
The only controlling thumb you are under is that of your ego. Control is like a mind altering drug. You get a temporary high from it and when it wears off, you look for another hit to chase away the fear of being helpless.
The ego creates both the fear and it creates the seeming solution - control. By creating the problem and the solution, the ego becomes like a hedge fund manager who attempts to keep all the contingencies covered so he can't lose.
The ego's business is to stay in business. It does this is by getting you to believe that you are a separate entity from all others and that you need its control to survive and thrive in this "out to get you" world.
The reality is that control acts as your ego's thumb and it keeps you in place. You don't have to be a world class detective to see your ego's thumbprint all over your life.
Control is much like its illusionary second cousin, willpower - a weakling amongst giants. It eventually loses all battles.
The freeing answer is to notice that no one has control and we waste much of our lives seeking it. Not having control truly makes all men equal. Once we let go of the idea of control, we begin to get out from under its spell and blossom. We learn how to respond to reality rather than fight with it.
Relinquishing control brings us the gift of awareness that we can draw on something deeper than an illusion to enhance our lives.
Cooperating with reality is like channeling the wind to create power. Attempting to control the wind is like Fabio buying into the illusion that he can avoid a bad hair day.
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