One of the lines from the hugely popular song Uptown Funk is “Gotta kiss myself I’m so pretty”. We all have issues and with some it’s apparently self-love. But with many other people, there problem isn’t so much with self-love as it is with control.
What drives the controller to insist on having their own way regardless of the situation or circumstance? What drives someone to attempt to gain total control over their life and the life of anyone that comes into their sphere of influence? In a word, fear.
Control is nothing more than man/woman’s attempt to protect themselves from any thing that threatens/scares/frightens/intimidates/challenges them. Be it an alcoholic and never knowing when the next alcohol-fueled rage will happen; or the abused child, sibling, spouse, employee never knowing when the abuser will strike again. Or a new job, new organization, new community, or a life threatening illness/issue to name just a few. For example, the child bullied at school will try and plan to the most minute detail a pattern of steps to take to avoid any contact with the bully(s). Unfortunately, fear producing situations are a daily, minute by minute, way of life. And, it’s impossible to control the behavior and thought patterns of other people.
If we’re not careful though, fear becomes an unconscious way of life, thinking that we have to fight this battle all by ourselves. Fear, subconsciously, is always lurking in the shadows of our psyches requiring more and more of our energies to try and control the cause/source of our fears. Adding to the problem is the fact that fear producing situations are everywhere.
The real problem though is it becomes a way of life, like eating and sleeping. Anything with the potential to produce anxiety resulting in fear must be controlled and just about everything we face in this world can produce anxiety. Things like fear of not being liked, being needed, being successful, being appreciated, being equal, being good at sports, being healthy, handsome/ beautiful…..
And the longer we insist on controlling our life, which of course we never really do, the harder it is to “let go and let God” (only God is sovereign over EVERYTHING, so only He is really in control)
Fear, then, is the bully behind our need to control everything. So, to address our control problem, perhaps we first have to address our fear problem. But how do we deal with fear if fear is the thing that got us into this mess to start with? How and where do we start? Let’s pause and think for a moment about that and try and see in our own lives if fear is calling all the shots or if Someone else is? If it’s fear and me, then I know where the problem starts!