October - November 2001

A Crazy Little Thing...

Guilt, jealousy, intimidation, rage, addiction: they all fall under the larger heading of control dynamics.

We are so accustomed to what we call love or especially 'commitment' involving control that we are trained to not know the difference, and there is a difference. There is usually a lot of masquerading in this department that goes on when love turns to drama, when people just spaz out in jealousy fits and are presumed, by themselves and by their culture, to have the high ground morally.

We, the loving and the gullible, or those with an overactive conscience, can fall for it.

While I can ultimately be forgiving of control trips, I do not tolerate them, and I do not call them love. What I call compersion is an emotion at the end of the spectrum where ALLOWING the other to is the first priority, and also a space where we take responsibility for what we feel. The net effect of applying control to another is to smother them entirely. Death, death threats, suicide threats and so forth, are all first cousins to all the other control trips that people pull, and they often appear in the same script, in some form, and on the same stage. Relationships in which death is a theme IN ANY FORMare usually control-oriented, or the underlying theme of the discussion is control. It is important to look carefully.

Nobody can make another person jealous. If somebody tells you that you did, they are lying, because the jealousy was already resident in them and it just came out, directed at you. In saying this, they are covering their own control, fear, death-trip or guilt. They are covering their own past, and holding it against you. I would make an exception to this idea in the case of a person acting in such a way they knew would evoke jealousy and did so intentionally to harm that person, which is a form of psychic attack or emotional abuse.

If you feel guilty, you can be sure somebody has left behind the relics and apparatus of a control trip, or that you have newly installed equipment. Usually both are true. Guilt within our minds works like an invisible remote-control device placed by the controlling party (usually in childhood) with a Lithium cell that lasts 75 years. That is why our partner relationships so often resemble our parental relationships.

The only hope of getting out of this bramble is deep honesty and going way past where we feel 'safe' communicating. There is a risk involved, and most of it involves risking actual growth. Growth often means giving up what we know hurts us.

Commitment is not about guilt. For commitment to be meaningful it must be offered with free will, and received with free will. For love to be meaningful it must be the love of who someone is, not who we want them to be.

Dismantle the apparatus of guilt! It is worth your resources to do so.