control freaks

The discomfort is seeping out of my pores. I tried to find anything else ready to post. I like to have things more thought out. More refined. More controlled. This one feels more like a zit I can’t stop myself from popping.

Lately, I have been watching and listening to both my self and the people around me, and the theme of control seems to be slapping me in the face everywhere I turn.

I think we as humans grab for control. But I don’t think that is truly what we want. I believe that what each human being truly desires more than anything else in this world is love.

But, as I have mentioned before, love is inherently uncontrolled. Unearned. Unpredictable.

And that makes most of us quite uncomfortable. Including me.

So when we want to show love to someone, we often try to control that person and make that person do what we think is good for him or her. But that is not really love at all.

When we want to be loved, to have someone else show love to us, we also try to control others. Manipulation comes into the mix and things get messy fast. Because we as humans seem to feel loved when we get what we want. But that’s not really love either.

And all the while, during this time when we are grasping for control, trying to make people do what we want them to do or be who we want them to be, we miss the fact that what we are given to control is ourselves.

We ignore that truth and try and control other people instead. Because they seem so much easier to fix. Because taking an honest look in the mirror and dealing with our own stuff is hard. One of the hardest things I have ever done or continue to attempt to do.

However, my hope in doing so is that my haunting need to control lessens and I become more capable of giving love. Freely. 

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tension of the sweet spot

Where is that sweet spot? That place that challenges me to stretch farther than I thought I ever would without being so far to break me? I would appreciate if that place was easier to find, to be aware of within myself, to dwell in.

Recently a friend asked me to write a poem for her husband. I know some would argue that all of what I write is poetry, just mostly in the form of prose. But I do not think of myself as a poet.

When I wrote the one poem I have published on this blog, I felt terribly out of my element. Poetry is outside the box and makes me squirm. Very risky business. I don’t think I have that intuitive gut that tells me how the words need to be broken up, where they ebb and flow to make just the right song.

And yet, there is something weighty in the freedom to express something without having to spell it out. To guess my way through something based on hunches and relying on instincts I didn’t think I had.

This was also the first time I tried to write something for someone else. What a privileged challenge to climb inside someone’s soul and try to figure out what is locked in their heart and express it on their behalf. Looking into her words to find what is behind them. Empathy and listening – strengths I live in as easily as I breathe – become a foreign. I am a novice once again. And it feels good to be so green.

She gave me her raw material and I just about died. Her heart of love for her husband, this life they have built together, the respect and honor for this man. This was sacred ground. How could I ever do this justice? I almost broke the entire time, but I also felt like I was flying. How can that be?

I have a draft. She may love it. She may hate it. I hope she feels free to be honest. No matter what the result, I am better for it. I didn’t look for it, I didn’t orchestrate it, but this was that sweet spot, making me wretchedly uncomfortable and wildly energized all at once.

monster

I know

I am a monster to you

That is the only way you

can hope to understand my

choices

And I know

the monster you think I am

is hurting you

and I am

so

sad

for your hurting

I think you would like me to explain

I would be happy to

I think it could help you hurt less

But you can’t hear me

when your fingers are in your ears

You cling to control

in hope of getting love

just like me

But I am learning a new way now

FREEDOM

And this new way doesn’t shout

or force

But waits

and hopes

for the day when you take your fingers out of your ears

yourself

You can have your way

that’s okay with me

you just can’t

have me

too

I know your hurting

started long before me

and I wish

there was something I could do to

salve your wounds

make you whole

I long

for the day

when I see you in Heaven

and you don’t hurt anymore

I see you there

in my mind’s eye

and I rejoice

I know that what you think

can’t hurt me

or change who I truly am

so until then –

when you are whole

and the hurting has stopped –

I have to let you think

I am a monster

It is compassion

relinquish

love

nothing else was on……i swear!

I saw myself in her. Truth is, I saw all of humanity in her. Tears streaming down her face in classic Bachelor style, she was a picture of brokenness.

“What did I do wrong?” rejected Nikki asked bachelor Ben Flajnick on the secluded Puerto Rican beach. Isn’t that what they all ask the cameras during their tearful exit interviews when they fail to receive the coveted rose? Is that what I would ask?

I am a little embarrassed to admit I watch this show from time to time. Every few seasons I will catch more episodes than I miss. I confess, mostly that has to do with if I can find anything more entertaining to watch at the slated time.

Mostly I don’t like the show because it puts all of the worst of the female nature on display for the world to shake their heads at. But last night I was struck by the words of this girl and how they revealed a piece of me.

In asking what she did wrong, she is revealing a belief that somehow love can be earned. That if she just did something different, then she would have received her payment in Ben’s love.

I know that on The Bachelor we are talking about romantic love…..being “in love”. But I think the concept applies no matter what kind of love we talk about. Not long ago I became painfully aware that I held this same belief.

I was moving through life trying to earn love. It seems natural in a way. Most everything in this world has to be earned, why not love? And to be honest, (because we live on this planet with a bunch of humans) much of the time we do have to earn love. But when we earn it, is it still considered love?

It would be nice if I could earn love because then I could have some control over the whole thing. And I like control. But love is a gift. And inherent in the concept is the lack of ability to earn it.

So I am left wondering what this girl’s interview would have sounded like if she didn’t believe that love could be earned. And I wonder what my life would look like if I understood the same thing.