I love doing things to surprise the people in my life that I care for. I don’t feel it’s necessary to wait for a special occasion like a birthday or holiday to do something nice for them. However, I don’t like being surprised. I especially dislike someone telling me they have a surprise for me because the suspense of waiting feels terrible. It’s hard to quiet my mind as it jumps from one possibility to the next trying to figure out what the surprise might be. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I don’t like having someone do nice things for me.
I think not liking being on the receiving end of a surprise has a lot to do with always trying “to be in control” of all aspects of my life. The crazy thing about that is if you understand anything about life, you know you can’t control anything about it. Time passes, the seasons change, and we grow older. We can’t stop any of it and we can’t speed it up or slow it down. All we can do is manage how we react to each unexpected event, and even those we know are about to unfold.
I say manage because I’ve learned – it seems like a lot more since becoming ill – that sometimes our emotions surprisingly overwhelm us. This means our reaction to a situation may not match the scale of what has happened. We also need to take into account that our reactions are also coloured by our past experiences so what we feel in a given moment may not even be about what’s happening in that moment. A current event could reawaken a memory or long-forgotten feelings and it’s not until we stop and put things in perspective that we might figure this out and make sense of our surprising reaction(s).
So, knowing all of this, how can anyone expect to control anything?