Control is an Illusion


For far too long, people have been buying and selling love and approval through the currency of success. We are accustomed to earning acceptance through being “good” or reaching the “top”. We want to know where we stand, we want to fix, to know, to control outcomes. Yet, while success might cloak itself in social fawning and illusions of safety, it is ultimately just a facade for our imprisoned inner-child.

Trust is terrifying when we are broken like a dog that was kicked around too much. Rules, structure, hierarchy, dogma, discipline: these all appeal to the broken, the stressed out, the endless uncertainties of life. The obsession of control is within all of us, flowing from our deepest longings for security and love.

To Let go of controllable acts is terrifying, because it requires we depend only upon trust, that we’ll be expected to play without having rehearsed, and that we can no longer twist God’s arm until He cries uncle. With a lifetime of betrayal and hardship behind us, our greatest fear is being needy. Our live are dedicated to avoiding risk, need, and the exposure of our inner vulnerability.

In this fear laden rush to achieve, we fail to see that there is a place of significance for limitation. That no matter the illusions of our demi-godhood, limitation is a constant; the world remains broken. Therefore, to truly heal, we must embrace the grey turbulence of life’s uncertainty and disappointments as normal.

Healing happens when we cast our soul into the fire. The magic of the river of fear purging the soul. Our pathway to freedom requires us to confront what we have been running from all along… the truth. To truly live, to be fully alive, we must be naked before God and humanity, exposed, vulnerable, needy, (gasp) trusting.

Trust must replace our death grip. Risk must replace walls. Vulnerability must replace resentment. Honesty must replace ego. Wisdom must replace naievity. Action must replace avoidance. Love must replace our childish materialism. For in mutual brokenness we find acceptance. In embracing one another, we find the courage to heal. In grace, we find the certainty of hope.

We must acknowledge that God is no longer obligated. Rather, we are the ones that are dependent. And if we’re willing, apparently we are already free, because perfection was only the imaginary goal of an approval addict.

Yet isn’t this the very thing that God was always meant to heal? The broken little kid who just only ever wanted love? That we do belong? That we have always been a part of the human family. We have always had something important to offer. We are free to love without secret motives. We are free to just be.

“Our shame tells us we are not God. Healthy shame is the foundation of humility.”

-John Bradshaw

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“Without risk, we can never experience love.”

-Dr. David Sedlacek

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“The spark behind fear, recognized as life, leaps into flame, always this energy smolders inside, when it remains unlit, the body fills with dense smoke.”

-David Whyte-
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“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

-Yoda

Shayne Mason Vincent, MSW
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