When we speak of control, we are referring to "self" control. Much of what happens to us is not under our conscious control. However, we can always be in control of our reaction to it. Many do not understand that we have this ability, and feel that they are cast adrift in a mighty storm, able only to try to hold on until the storm abates.
In one sense, what occurs in our lives is brought about by our own actions. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". "As we sow, so shall we reap," even "the golden rule" all allude to this truth. We do bring into our lives that which we need to further our growth and understanding. Since we often don't notice this, we miss opportunities to change our ways, feeling instead that life has been unfair to us. This causes the same event to present repeatedly until we come to understand what we are doing that causes it.
I once expressed sympathy for a woman in a nursing home who was celebrating her 100th birthday alone. My friend responded that if she had been a kind and generous woman through her life, she would not be alone on such a momentous occasion. This did not relieve my pity for the woman, but it certainly gave me cause to think. Another friend had a different view, which I also found compelling. He suggested that at that age, she may not have many friends left and family may be scattered across the globe. With age comes reduced mobility and the ability to participate in daily life. Our society values youth and energy. This has often resulted in our ignoring our crones and elders, not realizing how much wisdom they have acquired over their long lives.
Many, if not all, of the basic truths we seek in life have already been distilled down into such familiar homilies. We just don't notice them while searching for an obscure, difficult path to enlightenment. Instead, we search for the ultimate guru, the most obscure path laid down by someone long dead, or at least totally unfamiliar to us.
Meditation helps us to go within ourselves and find these basic truths, bringing our lives into harmony inside and out.