Q: I want to talk to you about control. I really know I need to let go of control in my life, in particular my controlling of other people. I’m always telling my partner what to do, and not believing he’s doing his best.
John: That’s because you let your nervous system master you. You let your nervous system rule instead of you letting your gentled and quieted heart rule.
Practically, this is like you, in the circumstances of your relationship and your life, quietly enjoying that you no longer need to be in control; you, quietly being nurtured in no longer needing control.
Q: I feel like a baby who needs to learn how to walk again. Despite all I know, I still have the idea he’s not doing enough as a father and that it’s hurting my kids. I know it’s not true, but I so often act from this fear in our life.
John: That’s because your bottom line is that you want him to do what you want him to do, instead of your bottom line being that he’s genuinely free to do or not. That means that you value him, instead of what you want from him as a personality; that you quietly want him more than anything that he’s able to do, and that you live that.
When you want him, more than anything he can do, you’ll not be using control on him. You won’t be speaking to his personality. You won’t be telling him what to do. Instead, in all of the moments that he’s with you, you’d love that you can see him. It’s not what he does or doesn’t do that matters to you. He matters to you.
You can start out with, for one month, within every circumstance and every day, that you require nothing of him. You won’t tell him what to do. You won’t ask him to do things. Whatever he does, he does, and what he doesn’t do, he doesn’t do, and you’ll not do anything about that; that your relationship with him isn’t based on your capacity to control.
Your relationship with him, for one month, is based only on your heart directly to his.
Q: I’ll try that. On the subject of parenting, I want to ask you about doing or not doing with our children. When I see my partner with our children, he’s fully present, fully alive, patient and full of his heart. It’s inspiring to me, but still there’s that little voice saying “maybe he should take them to the pool, go hiking with them ….” and it’s eating me inside.
John: Then, also during this whole month, you make no recommendation of what to do with the children. Whatever he does, what he invites you to, that’s what the two of you do. You make no invitations. You make no recommendations.
All you are for this whole month is a deep, quiet, full heart in seeing him. You let him be in charge of everything you think matters, and what you are is love that fills all the space that he controls.
Q: I just had the thought “now it’s going to be chaos!”
John: It won’t be chaos. It’ll be love.
Q: I know, but how can I do it, practically?
John: The way that works is completely: not a little bit, not a lot, but completely. For one month completely use no control, completely have no control. Completely is easy. Ninety-nine percent is a little bit difficult. Fifty percent is very hard. Ten percent is horrible!
For one month all you are is a love follower. Everywhere you follow, you fill.
Q: And then what will happen?
John: You’ll be love instead of you being what you’re used to. You’ll be love instead of you being your nervous system.
Q: I keep feeling I’m so nearly there, and then a big wave of anger or control takes me over.
John: This other part is your investment in getting something back, your investment in results. So you’ll soften until you see that softening isn’t giving you what you want, and then you’ll use control. If softening doesn’t work, control will work.
Open and soften without any view of having a return, without any view of results. Open and soften in a way that is not in relationship to results. It’s not connected to results. You’re used to softening to get what you want. If that doesn’t work, you quickly use power.
Your real power isn’t your power of thought and feeling, will and emotion. Your real power is your openness and softness of heart.
Let your real power have you. Let it master you in your whole relationship.
Q: Thank you.