I woke up this morning with the line of a song running through my head, “I’m spinning out of control . . .”
I don’t know what song, or if the bit of melody I was hearing on loop was just something I’d dreamed up, but the line repeated: “I’m spinning out of control . . .”
As I came more awake, I did a quick inventory of the thoughts and emotions stacked in my mental inbox, trying to trace the source of this slightly concerning piece of music. It wasn’t pretty.
No job. No money. No independent means of transportation beyond my own two feet and an unfamiliar bus system. No degree, or “real” career prospects, a bunch of tissue paper dreams carefully collected with dried and pressed flowers. The only means I currently have to support myself all relies on being reliant on the kindness of others. I spend all my time knitting or plotting to run away to festivals with circus freaks. How irresponsible. No wonder I don’t feel in control.
But if I were to magically get it all “under control”, would that suddenly make me responsible? Having your life together is a product of responsability, no?
The ability to respond.
Like the ability to respond to my body’s needs, like hunger, and to make myself nourishing food.
Or the ability to respond to another person’s needs, and to offer service to them, even if it’s a simple as a cup of tea.
The ability to respond to the needs and rights of other living objects, like feeding pets, watering plants, protecting nature.
The ability to respond to bad news, or difficult emotions, in a healthy manner that allows you to release and grow.
The ability to respond to social injustice and stand up for what is right without escalating the situation.
The ability to respond to your dreams and desires, taking the necessary steps (however challenging) to make them come true.
The ability to respond to whatever the day might leave you with in its unpredictable wake.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems an awful lot like responsability has nothing to do with control, and in fact even applies to situations where there is no control at all.
Because control is an illusion. It’s what happens when we define a desired status quo, and do everything we can to maintain and preserve that status quo. Thinking we can control our lives, or worse, thinking that we already have control, is a trap that keeps us from realistically responding to real time changes occuring. Anything unexpected disrupts that control and we chase our tails in circles trying to get it back. Because life doesn’t stop moving so we can get our ideals all perfectly lined up, it’s always changing, always flowing, and it doesn’t work to try and rigidly hold onto control. We’ve got to bend, be flexible, develop the ability to respond to any obstacle in our path.
“I’m spinning out of control . . .”
The nagging lyric is still in the back of my mind.
I respond by taking the full inbox of expecations, should’s and should not’s, the “why didn’t you”s and the “you’ll never be that”s, and I tip them out the window.
“I’m spinning out of control, I’m jumping the rails, I’m riding free,
I’m flipping the script, I’m improvising, I’m shaping up my response ability”