Releasing the Need to Control

These days I am practicing this habit where I release the need to control anyone, be it my children or my husband, parents, family – anyone. I feel so liberated just by the thought of it.

As parents, we want to control our kids and want them to do what we decide for them. But isn’t this a very shallow way of parenting? How can we control another individual and become an obstacle in their spiritual journey? Not controlling them does not mean that we don’t guide them. By all means, I am there for my kids to guide them, help them, protect them and bless them in their journey. For me, just letting them be works as magic. They are so much more inclined to do everything which is correct for them. If they watch TV, they close it on their own when the show finishes in 30 minutes. For me, love is the answer of everything.

I read this great poem by Khalil Gibran – ‘On Children’, based on which I like to raise my kids:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I believe that when we control anyone, our ego gets a big boost. In our egoistic mind, we think of ourselves as better individuals. On the contrary, if we are dealing from our spiritual self, the other person is equal to us. What he or she wants to do is entirely his/her choice. Everybody has their own journey and their own learning lessons. There is no need for us to stand in front of them in their journey just because we are their parents or their family member.

To live from a place where you don’t control anyone but still everything is in a perfect harmony:

  1. Treat the other person as a spiritual being, which is by all means – equal to you. If you think the path he/she has chosen is not correct, guide them and talk to them. But do not control and force your decisions on them. Whatever path they choose, bless them with all your heart.
  2. Get in touch with yourself by taking a few deep breaths and ask yourself – “Why do I want them to do what I think is right? Is it to boost my ego? Does it make me happy if the other person behaves a certain way?”
  3. If the answer is yes, it means your egoistic mind is at work and not your spiritual self.  Practice being quiet for some time and deal with the situation all over again.
  4. Practice sitting quietly for some time and visualize how letting go of control feels like. Surely, you will feel synchronized with the universe where everything happens in harmony and nothing is forced.

Yoga and meditation help develop skills to handle people better and improve relations. A regular practice of yoga and meditation also helps calm the mind and energize the body. And a calm mind can easily give up the urge of controlling others and perceive things differently.


Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find a Art of Living Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us [email protected]


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