personal life

is there something between the need for control and distance?

i’ve been mulling over this question {is inner peace found in attempting control or distance? is there even a space in between?} after reading this blog post by one of my favorite authors about wanting control.  he told an interesting story about an interaction he had with a therapist about control.  here’s an excerpt:

        She put three large couch pillows on the floor and stood on one of the outside cushions. She then had me stand on the other outside cushion so there was an empty cushion between us.  

        “This is my pillow” she said, “and that is yours. This is my life and that is yours. The pillow in the middle represents our relationship. So, my responsibility is all about the pillow I’m standing on and yours is about yours. Together, we are responsible for the relationship. But at no point should I be stepping on your pillow.”

my entire life i’ve avoided conflict.  at the same time, i’ve tried desperately to control the situations around me to make myself feel secure.  as a result, there have been things that have happened to me.  but i’m beginning to realize that those things didn’t happen TO me.  they happened because of me and my actions.  no, it’s not completely my fault.  but in refusing to express myself, i have allowed things to happen, things that i definitely didn’t want to occur.

i’ve always been an emotional person.  i cry at every single hallmark commercial.  my heart literally hurts for my friends and family when they are facing a difficult situation.  i think about what i can do or say to make things better for other people.  i’m beginning to understand that not all people are like that.  in fact, most people are not like that.  for me, talking about my feelings is natural.  in fact, i want to do it all the time.  i hate bottling up my feelings.  it bothers me that i do that so much.

so i get that i should be focused on me and not others.  but what about when you’re emotionally invested?  or when they’re your family?  or when you’ve put years into a relationship with someone and care about them?  do you slowly back up out of self-preservation even though it hurts like a motha?

control quote

confronting people, especially when you know they don’t want to hear it, is just about the hardest thing in the world for me to do.   i never know which situations to confront head on.  i think i often try to fix other people’s “pillows”.  when i deal with “shared pillows”, i don’t know what the reaction is going to be.  that’s often scary to me.  and it’s subsequently not worth the risk to me anymore.  i’m nervous that it will create a wedge or harm an already fragile relationship.  and that has happened over the years.

but when i don’t express myself and my feelings, i wish i had spoken up later on or at least said something in a different way.  staying silent or avoiding a situation definitely has its own effects.  sometimes resentment grows and that may be just as bad as the anger and sadness that comes from confrontation.  but maybe the best thing to do is just to try to let it go as hard as that is and move on.  things happen for a reason.  sometimes they work out like you want, sometimes they don’t.

whew!  that was a lot of thoughts for one day, but it’s good to let it all out.

One thought on “is there something between the need for control and distance?

  1. article is quite interesting and hopefully true happiness rays began to warm the hearts of us all, when we can share it with sincerity. Greetings from Gede Prama 🙂

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