Control: the adversary of love

Many of us have had challenging lives.  We long for healthy, loving relationships with our partners, children, family members, co-workers and our bodies.  We spend time and effort trying to make life feel good, but it doesn’t.  Constant stress and struggles lead to surviving, and not thriving in life.  Today’s society stresses our nerves because they are under constant stimulation, and they were designed for simpler times without 24/7 internet access.

Many people have had to learn how to take control to their situation in order to survive.  They had parents who couldn’t give them what they needed, so they became mini-adults at very young ages.  Single parent homes are the norm, and many of those children are successful because they learned early how to fend for themselves.  I was one of them; I understand. I’m not blaming the single parents; they are doing the best they can, as their parents did with them.

Why does this matter? It matters because to survive in this society you have to learn to behave in ways that don’t coexist with loving yourself and others in healthy ways.  The child who learned to adult at a young age doesn’t know how to be vulnerable; they know how to be in control and to survive.  Being vulnerable has turned into a skill that one has to cultivate, rather than a normal part of everyday life.

Love involves vulnerability because you have to open up to another and show them your heart and soul.  Show them your pain and show them your fears.  If you’ve spent your whole life fending for yourself, being vulnerable does not seem safe.  It goes against your survival strategy to control situations to stay safe. If you haven’t acknowledged and addressed your control issues, then they are most certainly there.  This article gives the basics on control https://intentionalsuccess.guru/2017/05/03/who-is-controlling-you/.  Survival patterns run deep, you can’t just will your way around them. They have been protecting you and they need to be respected.  You can gently chip away at them as you replace them with healthier strategies, but this a process.

What do you do if you know you have control issues and you want healthy relationships with yourself and others?  You realize that this is an issue that affects most of humanity and that you aren’t alone.  You realize that there are tools out there to break down these subconscious patterns (explained in more detail here: https://intentionalsuccess.guru/2017/05/01/an-introduction-to-your-subconscious-backpack/).  Even the awareness of this issue will start to bring it more into consciousness.

Why should I forgive her?

forgiveI was talking with a friend last night and I apologized for something that I could have done better.  He said he didn’t forgive me.  I was shocked. The parent in me thought about how I teach my kids to forgive people, but here is this grown man telling me that he wouldn’t forgive me.

Forgiveness means letting the energy of the situation go, so that the relationship can shift into a different space.  Not forgiving means that the relationship will keep playing out the same patterns over and over, because the energy is still being supported. It is ok to not be able to forgive someone; it just means that you still have emotions tied to the situation.  Thinking about what happened, and talking things through, can get you to a place where you can let go of the feelings and the situation.

If you choose not to deal with the situation, then you are taking the energy of the situation and tossing it into your subconscious backpack.  Most likely, you already have similar situations in your backpack and that’s why this one played out the way it did.  You wear your backpack everyday and it weighs you down.  A goal in life is to empty your subconscious backpack so that carrying what is left is effortless.  Adding more hurt feelings and unresolved situations to your backpack, or adding weight to the ones already in there, only makes it heavier.

Besides the obvious reasons to forgive, another reason is to let go of the energy of the situation so it doesn’t continue to weigh you down.  By forgiving you open space up in the relationship so interactions can shift and become more positive.

Sometimes you will find people who are unwilling or unable to forgive.  That’s their choice and it’s ok.  You can forgive them and honor where they are.  One day they might surprise you and be ready to forgive.

Who is controlling you?

 

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Unless you have spent years addressing your control issues, I’m confident that you have control issues.  Nothing personal, we all have control issues until we start to see them, and do something about them.

As humans we are all born with a heart, lungs, hands; things that are ours and are integral to our functioning as a human.  We are also born with some equally as important, but less tangible parts.  We all have our own responsibility, control, power, attention and love; we got them at birth with our hands and feet.  The issue comes into play when people don’t realize that they have their own control, etc., and they go looking for those things in other people.

For my explanation I’m going to pretend that control is a physical thing that looks like these strands of beads. image1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the time of birth, we each have our control and it is organized and in good shape.  When we are children our parents naturally have some of our control, but that is healthy, necessary and not in the scope of this article.

When we enter into a relationship of any kind – friendship, romantic relationship, family member relationship, co-worker, etc., boundaries need to be established.  Many people have not learned how to create healthy boundaries, so they create unhealthy relationships that involve stealing, dropping or swapping control and look more like this:

There are several things people can do to each other in regards to control.

1.  One person can try to give their control to the other person.  If the control isn’t accepted, it either lays on the ground, or the second person is forced to pick it up.  An example of this is when a teenager leaves dirty dishes in their room despite their parents asking them not to.  The teenager is not controlling themselves, so either the parents pick up the control and pick up the dishes themselves, or the dishes sit and get moldy while the control lays on the ground.

2.  One person can demand the other person’s control.  Many times the relationship is used as leverage and there is no viable way to defend against this because of the relationship.  An example of this is when a husband insists a wife do something the way he wants it done, or he will get mad at her.  The wife wants to get along with her husband, so she can either give in, giving up her control, or deal with the consequences of not giving in.

3.  More often than not, it is much more complicated than the first two examples.  People give some of their control to the other person, they take some of that person’s control, and they drop some of theirs on the ground.  An example of this is when a friend, who doesn’t like to drive, insists on picking the restaurant every time, or they will end up complaining about their meal.

No one is helpless in any of these situations because your control is your birth right.  It takes time and attention to see how you are giving up your control and how you are taking other people’s control.  As you unravel your own control issues, your relationships will begin to shift because your decisions and choices will be coming from a different vantage point.  It is possible to regain your own control and to give everyone back theirs.

 

Everything is an exchange of energy

Today is my son’s 10th birthday.  I remember 10 years ago how big and awkward I was because I was sharing my body with another living being.  Pregnancy is really an amazing process, but it, like everything else, is simply an exchange of energy.

We are all made of energy. Why is this important? Because it is a way to depersonalize interactions so that a deeper level of understanding can be achieved.  Issues and situations can’t be solved at the same level of understanding that created them, so one needs to find deeper meaning for the solution to reveal itself.

Take the mother/child relationship; the mother lends her body to help support a new life.  Once the baby is born, the parents care for this baby, day and night, often neglecting their own needs to put the baby first.  The responsibility the parents feel is great, and necessary, for the baby to survive and thrive.  Issues come into play as the baby grows into a child and can take on more of their responsibility.

If you can imagine responsibility as a physical thing, it is easier to understand.  Imagine responsibility is a bag of marbles.  At birth, the parents are holding the child’s bag of marbles, and they need to.  As the child ages, the parents should be giving the child a marble or two every now and then so that the child has the amount of personal responsibility equal to their emotional and physical capabilities.  Since the parents started with the responsibility, some parents have owned it.  They have crossed their child’s name off the bag of marbles, and written their own.  It makes no sense to them why they would give one of their own marbles to this child.  They have kept all the child’s responsibility as their own, and have burdened themselves with much more responsibility than they need.  Think of all the teenagers who flutter around taking odd jobs and living at home off and on indefinitely; this is a classic case of a parent still holding their child’s bag of marbles.

The parent keeping the child’s responsibility isn’t healthy for either person.  Children who do their own thing, without a sense of responsibility, because their parents are still holding on it so tightly, lead irresponsible lives.  Parents who are so dedicated to their children that they have lost a sense of themselves feel devastated when their children grow up.  If you can be brave enough to see who’s marbles you are holding, who’s bags you have written your name on, you can start to unravel the situation.  Trust me, less responsibility can feel very good and is healthy for everyone involved.  If you really look, you may see that many people have given you some of their marbles, and maybe you’ve given some of your own away because of all the other marbles you are holding.

Since everything is an exchange of energy, there is a healthy way to give everyone back their marbles and take all of your back as well.  Just being open to the idea that you may have other people’s responsibility starts the process.

Conscious relationships blog

This blog will be used to share information about conscious relationships.  A conscious relationship is one where you understand your role in how you interact with the other person.  By acknowledging your role in your feelings, you can start to shift your relationships into healthier ones that feel better to you.  There are many ways to re-shape your current relationships – those with yourself, your body, your family, your career, your free time, and all of your other relationships.

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