Tiny Wisdom: When Things Feel out of Control

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

“I can’t wait to leave LA. Seriously, we should consider moving within a year.”

I said this to my boyfriend as we were sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic a few streets away from our apartment, anticipating at least 10 more minutes of chaos. All around us, drivers were weaving in and out of lanes, honking at each other, and, in some cases, hurling swears at each other. Despite just meditating, I felt agitated.

Since we moved here just recently so my boyfriend can pursue film, moving isn’t the smartest option. And truthfully, I don’t want to move. I said it because I felt stuck, and in that moment, professing my desire to leave felt like a proactive alternative to simply sitting with that out-of-control feeling.

Suddenly I realized that this was good practice, because I will feel out of control in far more troubling situations many times in my life. We all will.

We may have to wait to find out if we’ll lose our homes, or our jobs, or our health, or people we love. Or we may lose those things and wonder how we can go on, knowing we’re not sure how things will turn out. We may have to watch people we love struggling, knowing we have no clue how to help, or if we even can.

It’s inevitable that we’ll feel out of control in life, over and over again. The good news is that we can always control how we respond to our circumstances, and we can practice this skill a little every day if we’re willing to breathe through uncomfortable feelings.

Today if you find yourself scrambling for control–over your time, your circumstances, or the outcome of your efforts–take a deep breath. Then remember: It’s far more productive to learn through this moment than it is to resist it.

*Email subscribers: This was the post from Thursday, but due to an error on my part, it didn’t make it into the email. Photo by fakelvis

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

See a typo, an inaccuracy, or something offensive? Please contact us so we can fix it!
  • Lori

    This came on the perfect day for me! I am feeling crazed about my schedule and a very full plate. Thank you for reminding me to breathe and keep it in perspective!

  • You are most welcome, fellow Lori. =)

  • Tirso Tromp

    Yep, liked it and as Lori says. It also came at a good moment for me.

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful, and so useful when dealing with change.

    Serendipitously, I’m sick and useless (out of control) today. LOL! I have spent the day so far not resisting and submitting to what is: focusing on breathing, while I sneeze, cough, lament, ache, grouch, wobble, and drift in and out of sleep.

  • Kruzty

    Yeah, sometimes to take a deep breath can save us to get drown by the problems. Sometimes I feel I lose control, if not of all, of the love, but I know I have to learn that  Love comes by itself, and is looking for us.

    Nice post and great blog ;D

  • Artur Tavares

    Could you put a Brazilian translation? I have a LOT of friends who should read this site everyday =)

  • Anonymous
  • Pingback: Neulich bei Twitter this week | chpmem()

  • Pingback: Control Less, Trust More | Tiny Buddha: Wisdom Quotes, Letting Go, Letting Happiness In()