A few months ago, a friend who was going through some tough times said to me “It is all about control.” This sparked something in me, and over the last few months I have gradually been opened up to an understanding of the main way to tell when we are acting from fear or love. this understanding for me was all about the direction of the control I was trying to exert. When I was acting fearfully I attempted to control others for my protection or benefit. This showed up in attitudes, judgments and shaming language designed to breed compliance. When I was acting from love I was trying to control myself for other’s protection and benefit. This showed up in attitudes, compassion, and grace-filled language designed to breed peace.
This opening has been very helpful for me as I look at the various debates raging through the atmosphere. When people are trying to exert control over others I see a reflection of the times I have operated from fear, and can bring love to bear and wait for the fear to subside. When people are trying to exert control over themselves I see the reflections of times I have operated from love, and can love by coming alongside and offering support. This, for me, is now the most important determining factor of whether I am operating from a healthy place, asking myself the question: Who am I trying to control?
When my fear rises and I try to control others I know that my witness to the light of God is dimmed, so, it is back to working on the self, to control me so that I can get out of the way of the radiant light that illumines all darkness, especially mine.