Withholds and Beyond-6

Withholds and Beyond

Part 6 –

So far what we’ve been talking about is this: in communication and relationship your intention is one of two things:  to control or relate.

There is an implicit assumption that control is bad and relating is good. Relating is being open to the unknown.  When you’re open to the unknown, you’re more flexible, adaptable, and in relationship with reality.  Good, right?

Now I’d like to do a “bait and switch” on you. First, the bait:

I’ll agree that control does not ultimately give us what we want. Control, rather gives us an immediate sense of safety.  This short-term safety actually numbs us to the long-term consequences that control has throughout our lives.

Because the “illusion of control” gives us a sense of safety, we don’t feel the actual impact of “trying to control”.  This is how we can live a whole life numb to the fact that we’re not really connecting  – when we think we are.  Then, at the end of our life, we have all these regrets because we haven’t really lived.  There is something really tragic about this.

Let’s really take a look at the delicacy of this matter.  Try this right now:  Get in contact with the part of yourself that withholds; that manipulates; that lies; that doesn’t always tell the truth; that fakes.  This is the part of you that wants to control things.  Just feel it.  It may not be all of you – but it’s definitely a part of you.

Ask yourself this question:  What is it that you’re trying to get through by being controlling?

When I ask myself this question and feel into it, the first answer that comes up is: “so I can avoid being attacked”.  For me, the deeper intention underneath that control is to not be attacked.

Now see if you can feel what might be true for you. What is your answer?

I’ll ask you another question:  What is it that I’m seeking by “not being attacked” that is even more important?

In other words, when I’m assured that I wont be attacked, what does that give me?  My answer is:  “I can just relax”.  I encourage you to ask yourself the same question.

Let’s go one level deeper:  What would I have if I fully relaxed?

What do I want to get from that relaxation?

When I feel into this, I experience a sense of innocence – a place where everything is fundamentally “ok”.  I imagine you might drop into a similar place.

In my experience, our desire to control doesn’t really get us what we ultimately want.  Control makes us feel safe on the surface – kind of like a band-aid.  It just ends up gives us a false sense of safety, coupled with emotional constipation.

However, the deepest intention behind the urge to control is good.  I simply want to feel deeply “ok”.  Imagine fully realizing the underlying intent of my desire to control – and then was able to relate from this deep sense of ok-ness.  How would this impact my relationships?  It’s obvious that I would be more “related”.

Here’s the switch:  The deeper intention of being controlling is actually a desire to relate.

If we go far enough into the real reasons why we seek to control, it’s because we are looking for the nourishment that comes with being “deeply-related”.  This gives us the capacity to trust life in all its ambiguity.  This process is self-generating: the capacity to relax into ambiguity furthers our ability to relate deeply.

Our deepest intention beneath our control is a native intention to relate – it’s just thwarted.


In relationship, control is a defense mechanism to avoid being hurt.

I know, without a doubt, that we have all experienced pain in relation to others.

But in reality, is it really possible for someone to emotionally hurt you?

This is the question I’ll leave you with for now.

3 comments on “Withholds and Beyond-6
  1. It depends on how much control of your own self you are letting go of.

  2. i love this post and the clarity presented here. while it “seems” that we are hurt by others actions- truly it is our own expectations and judgments that cause the hurt or separation from our fundamental well being. I’ve seen this so clearly in 4th step inventories when I intend to see my part in my hurts or resentments. It’s also made very clear when doing the Byron Katie – judge your neighboor worksheets where you examine your beliefs and turn them around. Liberation and the key to “getting” everything you want is in taking 100% responsibility and giving up the habits that don’t work – blame, complaining and criticism. blessings all!

  3. Emma says:

    What about consensual control? I’ve never felt a deeper sense of innocence and relaxation than when completely surrendering my will to someone I trust. How do you explain that?

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