When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.
For a very long time, I did not know the difference between love and control. They were one and the same in my mind. If someone loved you, they showed it by nagging, yelling, insisting, and controlling. It's not much of a struggle to remember why I made this association. I was told, growing up, that only the people that care about me are the ones that would put the effort in to help me become better even when I resist.
Little wonder, then, that I very quickly withdrew from people and avoided serious relationships. I did not like who I became in relationships nor what the relationship became. I used to think that meant that I was commitment-phobic, but really I was control-phobic. Even so, controlling behaviors were ingrained in me. So my problems followed me wherever I went and into whatever relationship I was in. I sought to control or gave into the controlling behaviors of others. I believed this was love and if I wanted to companionship, this is what I must learn to tolerate. When I received love that didn't fall into this vein of control and power struggles, I rejected it because I did not know what it was or understand it. So I did not trust it.
Today, however, I have a different definition of love. Love, for me, is respect and caring and willingness to let others take responsibility for their own actions and allowing myself the same dignity. I was able to receive love in a program of recovery and then, through working the Steps with a Sponsor, I was able to afford myself that love and, in turn, give love to others.
A meditation for June 1, 2013.
No One's Gonna Love You – Band of Horses