"Rena, the anxiety you experience in your life now stems from childhood. Losing your father at a young age gave you the impression of your world as being out of your hands."
These words were spoken to me in my first year of university when my nervousness turned into a full-blown, constant worry and anxiety that my day was going to flop; that I was going to fail all of my midterms; that I wasn't going to have enough time to study; etc. I didn't really like the whole counseling thing. At the time, it just made me more nervous because I thought I was wasting time that could have been spent studying. But this one that I chose to go to always stuck with me because it gave me a sense of relief to know the root of my anxiousness. That still never really seemed to make it any easier though.
It helps to explain why I always seemed to be able to manipulate my mother into, well... anything. It also helps explain why I always had to have the last word in our arguments, why I never really wanted to push myself to try something I might not be good at, why I was able to keep a healthy distance from most friends I made in highschool, and probably most evidently, why I chose to date boys who made me happy but were never my ideal and why breaking up with them was never life-changing-difficult.
That's probably the biggest place that people, especially girls, can relate to my need to control. I'm not a perfectionist by any stretch of the imagination, but I think the need to control and being a perfectionist can be mutually exclusive. I think everyone has some extent of this "control" gene. I think most people can relate to the feeling of trying to convince themselves that the guy they are currently dating: "is just really into me. he's alright i guess..."
Is there something about saying those words that make you feel more comfortable with your position in a relationship? I don't think anyone would expect this from me - the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve and bursts with affection for the beloved's in her life. But I think I've fooled not only the people in my life, but also myself, into believing I was laying my heart on the line, when I was actually keeping them at arms length so that if something crumbled, I wouldn't have to look very far for a shoulder to cry on.
So... this is how I've been treating those people in my life. This is how I have viewed the ones I lavish my love on and right now, at 22, is when I am just becoming aware of it. Because all of a sudden, it is creeping in and ruining one of the most treasured relationships I've been able to experience. This one makes me uncomfortable. & it makes me uncomfortable because it surfaces my desire to remain in control, but doesn't allow me to do so. I think this is what they mean when they say Love, in its purest form, is hard. Because it challenges us to serve and makes us uncomfortable in our lack of control over the other person. Damn - hard reality. This relationship has brought to my attention my need for, and unachievement of, my independence. But who should I be dependent on when I finally crumble and realize it apparently isn't myself?
In the book, The Shack, Sarayu (The Holy Spirit) says it perfectly:
“Relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself- to serve.”
It's obvious that true contentment in life doesn't stem from perfect control - in fact, my perceived ability to have control in relationships, is now crushing me (that's a harsh way of saying "humbling" but that's what it feels like). I think I need to continually ask myself this horrifying question:
What kind of one-up did my creator God get when he took on and paid the ultimate cost for, not just one beloved, but every person who comes into existence?