Monday, April 26, 2010

The Mask of Control

The reason we try to control life or other people, is to really control our own emotions. We need things to go as we want them so we don’t have to deal with our own feelings if they don’t. Now this may not be in every area of our lives and it can be so subtle that we don’t even fully notice we are doing this.

For me, and for many, it will come up in intimate relationships. I don’t see myself as someone that tells another what to do and how to do it, but when a relationship is coming apart or I know I have to end it – always for the same reason: they are too immature, have emotional issues (which yes is another indication of my OWN insecurities) - I try to control the situation and that person’s thinking. It becomes manipulative and almost turns into a desperation. I need things to be okay, I need that person to be different; I need that person to understand their “issues” and change them … so that I can feel okay. So that I don’t have to deal with my intense emotions, the ones that come from letting go or feeling rejected.

I have to learn to allow this to be what it is without resistance, without analyzing him and the situation and without the constant doubting of my own thoughts, feelings and the choice I made. These are just my attempts at trying to control my emotions, which actually only cause them to be more distressed and confused.

That’s really what it’s all about ... controlling our own emotions. We can easily fool ourselves into believing we can’t live without that person and we keep our focus on THEIR issues, try to “figure” it out, or try to fix it. But what is the real reason why? Because if we really loved the other person, we would realize they need to find their own path, that they need to “fix” themselves or stay the same if that is what they choose. The point is people do what they do and it is not up to us to control it or change it, but it is up to us to make a choice. A choice for ourselves! One that empowers us, not diminishes us. A choice for our happiness. And don’t fool yourself into believing that you are just compassionate or you want to help them…truth is, you want your feelings to be okay.

FEAR. Fear of our own feelings. Fear of having to cope with our own feelings. Fear of having to really make a choice. Fear of needing to change ourselves. This is why we control.
An inability, or belief that we are unable, to cope with our own intense feelings.

I need to teach myself how to be able to just feel the feelings without having them CONTROL me, so that I no longer try to control outcomes and people.

I need to teach myself how to be okay with my feelings and allow the strong winds of emotion to carry me, rather than spin me around like a tornado.

I need to teach myself how to stay afloat of my feelings and swim along the river of emotions, rather than drown in the muddy waters of self-defeat and despair.


  1. This made me think about my own actions in trying to control someone in my life. I am always on him to quit smoking and I know in a way this is really about me. I dont want him to die (sooner than he has to) and leave me alone.

  2. You need to teach yourself what?

    I think- my dear friend-you are such a wise AND smart woman... (And i call you 'friend' because someoe who writes and thinks the way you do can never be any other thing to me!)

    What you see and notice and realize, and the conclusions you get to... that is what I've always liked about your posts... This is a real therapy to yourself and to anyone who reads you.... because , after all, we are not that different, anyway. And it is such an amazing truth what you say here... It's all in the mind, it's that continuous try to change the other -yes- but really a try to change the self... the continouos search for perfection...


  3. Ah! If only I could assimilate all your precious words of wisdom into my daily life, how much more beautiful would all be for me.

    I hope you realize the impact you (and maybe most of us here) have on the lives of all who read, and think, and comment, and return--in other words, all who establish these connections, allowing entrance into a part of one another's lives.

  4. That last paragraph said it all SB. Especially to me, thank you.

  5. this is beautiful. today i am trying to accept how i feel, a couple of your statements read me like an open book, and cause me pondering and reflecting. i will link to you today when i write. thanks for your courage, best wishes with your healing.

    friend, mile 191

  6. Great post. Very astute and thought provoking. I really enjoy this. Thanks for sharing.