There are things I can control. Like how much sleep I get, what I eat, what I say, to name but a few.

If you'd asked me if I could control my life when I was in my twenties, I would have said an unequivocal yes. And I would have thought you were wrong if you'd said no.

I guess I was a bit of a control freak. My life was on the right track, and I intended it to stay that way.

Then I had a baby.

I was no longer able to control when I wake up, how long I sleep, if I shower, how tidy my home is, when I leave the house, or what I am doing during the day.

Becoming pregnant was the first clue.

Going through labour and birth gave me the inkling that I was no longer I control of anything at all.

As the weeks with a newborn who woke every hour right round the clock, who wanted to be fed then, and who fell asleep again only to wake up an hour later, turned into months, and the sleepless nights and days marked by lack of personal hygiene and self-care got strung together, I realized it's not just giving birth and parenting that you can't control.

I gave up, surrendered.

As it turns out, I realized that I have no control over the things that mattered the most.

I didn't control when I fell in love. Nor do I have control over when I get creative ideas, when accidents happen, or when sudden illness or the death of a loved one strikes.

We don't get to choose when, how, or where the most meaningful things in our lives happen. Meaningful things happen in everyone's lives. And things happen which are much, much bigger than us. Especially the things that matter most.

I can't control when or how the things worth having most will show up, but sitting around waiting for things to happen to me isn't my thing, nor is it a great use of my time. So what to do?

I surrender.

I ask for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The more children I had, the more I knew this to be true.

I go ahead and courageously wield control over the things I can control. Like what I put into my mouth, what I read, say and listen to.

And I courageously let go of the things I can't control – every single moment of every single day.

I choose to breathe.

And I bask in the awe of the fact that this magnificent, wild thing called life is happening, and while I'm a part of it, I'm not controlling it, at least not the parts that matter most.

And that's the most wondrous part.

Because how much fun would it be if I was running the whole show and always knew what was going to happen, when and how?

It would take the wonder right out of it, I think, not to have thunder and lightning sometimes.

May we revel in the miracle that the things that matter most are bigger than any of us.

And may this truth bring serenity, because being in control of everything sounds pretty exhausting anyway.

Author's Bio: 

Ruth Bleakley-Thiessen is a communication designer, a Journey Practitioner, a coach, an artist and an author. She has coached thousands of people one-on-one and in workshops, most of them women, helping them to evolve, empower and express themselves in their own authentic way.

Her first book was published in 2000 with the Ch. Falk Verlag in Germany (Die Lehren der Engel).
Her recent books can be found on her website:

She is from Ireland and lives in the north of Germany.