“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” ~Dorothy Bernard
Some recent heartbreaking events led me to do some deep work with my Teacher, to explore why so many people persist in being devoted to controlling, rather than to loving themselves.
I asked my Teacher, "Why? I need to understand why these people stay controlling, in the face of so many negative consequences. What are they so afraid of?"
They are afraid of many things. They are afraid of engulfment, of being controlled and losing themselves. They are afraid of rejection, of failure, and of feeling the core pain of helplessness, loneliness, heartbreak and grief. But the bottom line under all this fear is that they lack COURAGE. They lack the courage to forge ahead and risk the pain of rejection and failure, rather than close their hearts.
In their minds, it is easier and safer to withdraw, to pull on others, to turn to addictions, and to judge themselves in order to get themselves to do it 'right' to control how others feel about them. It is easier and safer to rely on their own minds rather than open to their higher mind. It is easier to try to control themselves and others, rather than open to learning about loving themselves and take the loving actions in their own behalf.
It takes courage to trust your feelings, to surrender to your higher Self, to risk loss rather than continue to try to control. It takes courage to have an open heart, which you have when your intent is to learn about loving yourself, and risk your heart getting hurt.
"But they are so miserable, so needy, so anxious and depressed. Why is it worth it to them? Over and over I hear that they don't want to risk feeling the loneliness and heartbreak of rejection and failure. Are you saying that the issue is they lack courage?"
Yes, this is what I'm saying. When you are feeling lonely around others, it is always because they lack the courage to risk feeling the core pain of rejection and failure, so they close their hearts to loving themselves and others. When you feel connected with someone, it is because love is vitally important to them, which gives them the courage to open to learning with their Guidance about loving themselves. People with courage take the risks of honoring their own knowing, even if others don't like it. These are the people who value themselves enough to take loving care of themselves emotionally, physically, and in all others areas.
While some of the people who are devoted to controlling appear to be strong, they are coming from fear and lack of courage. They convince themselves that their strength is in controlling rather than loving, but in reality they are coming from weakness rather than strength. The immediate loneliness you feel in your heart lets you know this. You must trust this loneliness.
"But I feel this with most people. So the truth is that most people lack the courage to love rather than to control?"
Yes, that is the sad truth. It's all about courage.
This is a sad, yet very important truth for me to accept. For me, it takes courage to honor my loneliness as vital information, rather than kid myself into believing that someone is open when they are really closed and protected. It takes courage for me feel the heartbreak of others' lack of courage, and to feel the helplessness of knowing that I can hold up the mirror but I can't force make them to make loving more important than controlling.
When you choose the courage to love, you will find yourself deeply motivated to practice Inner Bonding, moment by moment.