Control, Fear and Love

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.To love is to be vulnerable. -CS Lewis

I read this quote over at the Mockingbird blog in a post that says: Control Is Just an Illusion, But Love Casts Out Fear.
I highly recommend the post to you. Here are a few clips from it.
"The root of the desire for control is fear. And fear in this world is not without cause.

My own usual response to fear is to put a lot of energy into creating an airtight system that eliminates risk. But this is not without cost. Go too far with this sort of thing and you will find yourself desiring secrecy even when there’s no need for it. You’ll want to check things all the time and make sure all is well. You’ll suppress emotion, because emotion must be regulated by reason in order for the system to function, and then when it’s time for emotion to have its say, you won’t be able to find it."
I can so relate to the idea of fear motivating a desire to be in control but I never thought about how it could squelch the expression of love. When we experience bad things we sometimes (especially if we have a predisposition to do it) use control to manage the pain and provide us with a temporary sense of peace. The denial stage of grieving is like that. But, like denial, control can be bad when we allow it to dominate our lives. To really love, and to really live, requires us to let go of control. I end by sharing the ending from the Mockingbird post:

"Maybe it’s just recognizing that the supreme level of control sought by those of us of “freak” status is just an illusion anyway. Terrible things will happen, despite your best efforts to secure yourself against all shock and alarm. You will be blindsided–if not by the thing you’re guarding against, then by something else. That’s what “blindsided” means: you don’t see it coming. And the energy you’re spending on maintaining a defensive system would be better spent on loving the people around you before they’re taken, which they most certainly will be at some point unless you’re taken from them first. Yes, it’s risky. But it’s worth it. They’re worth it. They’re worth the fear and discomfort and uncertainty and vulnerability–wonderfully worth all this and more."


  1. I've learned the hard way that trying to control those you care for ends badly. You lose both control and the relationship.


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