Hi all, it has been a while since my last post. In light of some observations I’ve made over the years, I’ve decided to write about protection and control.
Let me start out by saying that there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with being protective & in control, as long as it is in check. It is when we allow these desires to get out of hand, that we run into problems.
There is a song that was written by Roger Waters while with Pink Floyd, that illustrates this quite well in my mind.
Mother-Pink Floyd “The Wall”
Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb?
Mother do you think they’ll like the song?
Mother do you think they’ll try to break my balls?
Mother should I build a wall?
Mother should I run for president?
Mother should I trust the government?
Mother, will they put me in the firing line?
Mother, am I really dying?
Hush now baby, don’t you cry.
Momma’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.
Momma’s gonna put all of her fears into you.
Momma’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She won’t let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Momma will keep baby cozy and warm.
Ooooh babe, ooooh babe, ooooh babe.
Of course momma’ll help build the wall.
Hush now baby, don’t you cry.
Momma’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you.
Momma won’t let anyone dirty get through.
Momma’s gonna wait up till you come in.
Momma will always find out where you’ve been.
Momma’s gonna keep you healthy and clean.
Ooooh babe, ooooh babe, ooooh babe.
You’ll always be a baby to me.
Mother did it need to be so high?
Now in my mind, the song shows the person expressing some fears and concerns to his mother, through the questions he is asking. The mother wants to protect her son, and in the process of trying to do that, perhaps without even realizing it, she projects her own fears onto him. This only creates a bigger mess, and she becomes overly protective. As a result, she becomes controlling of her sons life. In the end, he ends up asking if the wall that was built to protect him, needed to be so high? Did this really need to end up with her over protecting him and controlling his life? Was it really in his best interest for her to even get so deeply involved in his life?
One of the greatest gifts we can give someone, is the freedom to live the life of their choosing; even when we disagree with the choice(s) they are making,…especially then. The moment we step in to save them or protect them from their lives, we have taken away their freedom of choice. We have projected our version of what their life should look like, onto them. We have stolen the control they had over their life. Even when we are convinced within ourselves, that they deserve better,…or at least our version of better,…we are impeding their personal growth. You have your own life to live, so live it, and let those that you care about & love, live theirs.
Let me use an analogy. Let’s say that we have a child, who has just started bringing homework home from school. If we, as their parent/guardian, take over and do their homework for them every time they run into problems, then how much are they really going to learn & retain. If we were to keep this up, how would they ever graduate on their own? We will have short changed them and the education they will need later in life. What about when it comes to the quizzes and tests at school. I suppose they could try cheating, but that would just defeat the purpose. We could go into their classroom and take the test for them, but then that would defeat the purpose too. It would also look mighty strange, but then you knew that.
My point is, it isn’t fair or even spiritually right for us to be like this with anyone. We are only denying them the privilege and opportunity to choose for themselves. We are keeping them from learning from their mistakes, and enjoying the results of making better choices. We are also stopping ourselves from getting/learning all we can from our own lives. Their lives have become a distraction from what we ourselves have before us in our own lives. There are no winners in this situation.
One of the greatest gifts we can give someone, is to pray, in our own individual way, that they will make choices that are for their highest good; that they will only come across experiences & people that will help them gain the understanding they need in life.
Does this mean we shouldn’t be there for them? No, as long as being there for them, is a supportive role we play, and not a take control role. There is nothing wrong with helping them as long as we are careful not to impede their progress. Giving them advice when they ask for it, or lending them a helping hand in some other way, is great. It is when we don’t stop, that we start causing more harm than good. When we start putting any restrictions on another, we are no longer helping them. It isn’t to anyone’s highest good to dictate what they should & shouldn’t do, or can & can not do, in order for us to continue to help them or love them.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say a family member has been involved with drugs, they’ve been involved with some people that we ourselves wouldn’t have hung out with. Do to some experience, perhaps they got arrested for possession, they have decided to start over and try to make better choices in their life. In order to do this, they need to move away from their old neighborhood, change who they hang out with, & all that. Problem is, they really don’t have a lot of money after losing their job from this mess, and their credit didn’t fair too well after some of the choices they made while on drugs. So they’ve come to you for a place to stay, while they get back on their feet. They’re family, so you accept them into your home.
A couple of months later, they now have another job, they have saved up a little money and they have found an apartment to rent. Problem is, their credit still isn’t so good, and so without a co-signer, they won’t be allowed to rent it. You decide you will help them out and co-sign on the lease, but with some stipulations beyond the legal ones on the contract. They are not allowed to have parties at their new apartment, they can’t have any of their old friends over, and they have to continue with N.A.
While you have the best of intent with these added requirements, you have also stepped into the role of over protecting them, and trying to take control their choices.
If they make a mistake and start slipping, you can be there to help them, in a supporting role, & if they ask for it. Otherwise, it is their life to live, you have done what you can to help them start a new life for themselves, now let them take the next step. It is important that we don’t over react to their choices. We all stumble from time to time. It is in the process of picking ourselves back up, that we gain the strength we need in life. Perhaps this is one of those moments.
Love lets go, fear hangs on.
This, I feel, is important to remember. In our love for another, we realize that only they have the right to make the choices in their life. We can, through our love, be there to support them in their time of need and carry them in our hearts.
In a state of fear, we lose trust in their ability to make choices that will best serve them. In my belief system, we are never alone spiritually. I believe we are deeply loved and supported by our guides and angels, who are with us to help us in our time of need. So based on this belief, when we are in a state of fear, we also lose trust in the spiritual support system.
I think of it this way. When we are teaching a child to ride a bike, we use training wheels, and then we use our guiding hand on the back of the seat. But at some point, we let them go while they are pedaling. We let them go because we realize we can’t hold onto the bike, and run along side them forever. We realize they will never figure out and learn they can do it on their own, if we continue to hold on. This is what I am suggesting to you. Let go of the bike.
So you might be asking yourself, well if I am doing this, and the other person isn’t objecting, then is it still harmful? I say yes.
Perhaps they are so used to having you, or anyone else control them, that it just seems normal. They’ve become conditioned to this way of life, and therefore they don’t see it for what it is. Or maybe, while at a low point in their life, it just seems easier to let someone else take over. Unfortunately, while it may be easier, they are not getting the opportunity to find their own strength to work through their issues. They are missing out on the lessons in the experience, and the strengthening of their self-esteem. I feel that these are things that we have no right to rob from them.
Another possibility is that the other person is aware that they are on the receiving end of your control, but they feel they’re not strong enough to stand up to you. Chances are though, they have dropped some hints about how they feel about it. Just pay attention, you might be surprised.
Lets break the cycle.
The first step is awareness!
Copyright 2006 Rev. Christopher
In my example of the drug recovering relative, it may seem that I have over looked the understanding that someone in this situation would merely be setting these extra stipulations as a way to protect their investment. I have not missed this possiblity, but wrote from the understanding that if the need arose, I trust that the owner of the leased property would be willing to let you out of the contract in order to prevent a drug issue on their property. Perhaps this would need to be investigated before signing any contracts.