I’ve been thinking lately that at the root of almost every situation that I feel frustrated about is that word: Control.

More clearly stated: my reaction to having no control over most everything.

Yet I still seem to hold on to the magical thinking that says, I can control the weather, time, other people’s reactions, my niece’s grades, and as the picture says, my hair. I add my hair in there because until about 5 years ago, I actually did have control of my hair…as in I could get it to do most anything. However, since I’ve been on the Expat Planet all that has changed.

When I first arrived in France, it seemed I actually had control over my hairstyle, in fact, I changed it the first year. A couple of years in, I changed the style again and no matter how much time I spent on it, I was rarely satisfied with the results. I noticed that it seemed to be growing in opposite directions…rarely in the direction I wanted!

Determined to gain control, I tried a plethora of shampoos and styling products. Some worked, but only for a few days. It seemed I was losing the battle, and in essence, control over my hair.

Then I tried what I hadn’t tried before: spending a few moments to see where, in fact, my hair was going, as in I began styling it the way it was growing.

Et voila! The miracle of miracles, once again, attempting to understand the flow rather than fight for control over it yielded an amazing result: going with the flow can equal inner peace.

Now if you wonder why I’m going on about my hair, it’s because this experience actually runs parallel to my living on the Expat Planet.

Just as with my hair, in the beginning, I tried desperately to keep control of everything as I had done for 50 years.  This usually meant NOT being with life as it is in my new culture, rather how I wanted it to be.

Once I practiced observing before acting, I found living on the Expat Planet just a bit easier, dare I say peaceful.

As the French say, whichever way your hair is going is an indication of what’s going on inside your head. I’m just saying that sometimes the answer lies in GIVING UP control…which might just take you where you need/want to be! 

Let us know your thoughts and experiences with Control in the Comments section below.

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