God help me remember my desire to control as a reminder to experience each moment, completely new and fresh...
Oh if it were that easy...
I control to feel safe. That is why I do it. It works most of the time which is why it is so hard to release and let go. I know it doesn’t work all the time, and I can see, there are places in my life where my controlling doesn’t help me one bit, but it works more often than it doesn’t, so I persist.
And I can see that I suffer a great deal because of this delusion that I can prevent the awful from happening. I can control the outcome. I can control how people see me, experience me or whether I engage with them at all. Control has been one of my best friends, for life. And it is a hard lesson to realize that this “friend” I thought I had, really isn’t all that friendly back to me.
Control is kind of like a relationship with a hot lover who is emotionally unavailable. The lover gives you things, things that seem like things you want - a sense of being desired, wanted, needed, hot sex...but then you realize that the desire doesn’t really seem to last, being wanted and needed feels great only when it is being turned in and on and the hot sex fades because the hot lover is emotionally not able to really be present for you and with you. So you end up in this endless chase - you start off wanting the lover and all he brings to your life and are ok with the stuff he doesn’t or leaves out, but then you find that you appreciate the stuff he brings less and less and crave that which you can’t have, emotional transparency and intimacy.
And so it goes with my relationship with control. I want the things it brings me immediately like a feeling of safety and order but then it is all I am left with. Order and a feeling of safety instead of actual safety. Control allows you the delusion that you are in charge of something you are actually not...it allows you this delusion so that you continue to deploy it in your life. Not unlike that hot lover...you start off thinking that the hot steamy sex is what you want, but then you realize that without the emotional connection that runs with the hot sex, hot sex loses its luster and so does the hot lover.
And so it is with control.
I appreciate the things it brings into my life but I am at a place where I am wholly dissatisfied about the results of engaging with it because it never really leaves me satisfied or happy. And the initial feelings of safety and security are really only smoke and mirrors from the house of cards I have built thinking that control is ever going to be anything that helps over the long haul.
So it is like hot sex, control is just another thing I have abused in some sort of misguided attempt to live this life. I seem to get it wrong so completely and so often it is shocking. And yet, yet I persist in attempting to gain ground that I will never have - power about how other people are...I cannot make them love me, like me, want to be with me, treat me the way I would like to be treated or even to stay one second longer than they want to. The idea that perhaps I should have a say so in all of this only underscores the level of delusionality operating in my life.
I want to feel safe. To be needed and wanted. To be cared for and loved. But I see now that I have to stop signing up to get these things from people who cannot or will not give them to me. My exercise of willpower in the face of others is really completely ineffectual and in the end, extremely damaging to myself and others.
So what to do?
How do you let go of the hot lover of control? I do not know really. I know it starts with keeping the focus on yourself. Stay grounded in what you need and want and then give those things to yourself. But I am really not sure from there. I feel stymied and flummoxed if I am honest. I am not sure how to get what you want and need from others...and deciding you need no one and will give it all to yourself is just another form of control. Who knew control could be a hot lover and shapeshifter too? Perhaps that is why control is so alluring and desirable...it shows up when no one else will and disguises itself as something else completely.
And I fucking fall for it every, single time.
Breaking up with the hot lover is never easy. And so it is with control. I think, and I am not really sure at all, breaking up with control requires one to say some very important shit that will be wildly unpopular with those who hear it, which might include the hot lover from time to time. Regardless of how hard it is, I can see that there is some letting go I have to do, some acceptance that all that glitters is not really gold, not matter how much I have tried to convince myself otherwise...
Sometimes, like that hot lover, control just needs to get nothing further from you. Like a response, a thought or any kind of behavior...because in the end, engaging with control only keeps you stuck in an endless loop...of your own making.
Seems as though hot lovers and control leave you exhausted, depleted and somewhat depraved...except with control, you have only the aftermath and none of the fun.