Raise your hand if you or someone close to you is a control freak?
(Raising my hand.)
As a ‘recovering control freak’ who still falls off the wagon on occasion, I’d like to share a video with you that just might have you rethinking this approach.
In honor of Mother’s Day a short clip from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show featuring well known child expert, Dr. Shefali Tsabary was on the top of my YouTube list. Of course, they were discussing parenthood BUT the nuggets of wisdom broke the parental barriers and exploded right on through to life with kids or without.
Love, consciousness, control and dependency were hot topics. Not usually part of Parenting 101.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Love is blind.” What does this phrase mean to you?
For me it means that when in this state of love, I am not able to see the obvious flaws of the other and overlook them in order to gain love from them.
This is very different from unconditional love which for me is all about loving another as they are without needing them to do or be anything more.
According to Dr. Shefali, blind love is all about you and the desire to be loved by another and unconditional love is meeting the other where they are not expecting anything in return.
Based on those definitions, does unconditional love feel difficult for you?
Being 100% honest, at times, it does for me. It is not always easy to meet the other where they are especially if they are not behaving or responding the way I would prefer.
In the past, I found comfort in having everything pre-planned and predetermined. I thought that if I had everything mapped out that it would all go according to plan and I would feel like a bad ass. In the end, I would have the love and admiration of all involved which was true until things didn’t go as planned.
I realized that my attempts of being in control, in my relationships in particular, were actually part of the reason they broke down in the end. Obviously, there’s more to it than that, but I now realize that it was part of the problem.
It was essentially control in the name of love. I am controlling you because I love you. I want you to do or be something else than who are right now because it doesn’t suit me.
I found I became dependent on the actions of others to fill me up. I needed them to behave a certain way. Without their compliance I didn’t feel loved.
“Love without consciousness becomes need, dependency and control.”
Dr. Shefali Tsabary
I truly believed that I was coming from a place of love when in fact I was coming from a place of fear. I was terrified that others would see I didn’t have it all together. That I didn’t have all the answers and as a result that need for control in the name of love damaged my relationships with people I truly cared about.
“True love for the other comes with freedom, liberation. It comes without any condition. Without any hand asking for something back.
Dr. Shefali Tsabary
You love the other enough to allow them the freedom to be who they are without the need to control any aspect of them.
However, there is a fine line between unconditional love and being taken advantage of. Obviously, if there is physical or emotional harm and you remain because you “unconditionally love” the other that is NOT unconditional love nor is it healthy.
Boundaries and an awareness around how much you are giving. Are you giving until you are depleted? If so, that again is not a healthy love relationship.
Which relationships in your life can you let go of the need for control? Which ones require an eye-opener to loving blindly? And are there any relationships that might benefit from a little more unconditional love?
As always, we learn from one another so please share your insights and experiences in the comments below.