Grasping for Control, Love, and Acceptance?

29 Sep

Do you ever find yourself grasping for control, love, or acceptance? Have you ever tried to wrangle life or relationships, as if they were animals you could tame or bend to your will? If so, you’ve probably found yourself ultimately frustrated when you realize life and relationships are things over which we have very little control.

So often in life, we want to call the shots. We’re taught in our individualistic society that we can do anything and everything and that we can conquer the world. I have come to see this as a fallacy. Through Spirit, I have consummate power but flying solo, I am just another person striving for dominance and validation via my ego. It’s a setup for disaster. When I operate this way, I become rigid, exhausted, and unappealing to be around. It is only when I surrender to something Higher than myself that my beauty and strength become illuminated.

Surrender is key but how do we learn this if all we’ve known is trying to manage things on our own?

Years ago I worked with emotionally disturbed children. Some of them had been so abused that it was common for them to need to be physically restrained at times to help them contain their angry impulses. When upset, they were known to pick up objects and hurtle them in the air, bite peers, or bang their heads against the wall. But of course when touching a wounded child, one has to be very careful. You have to be trained to do this so that the child feels safe and protected, not further abused and re-traumatized.

I remember watching a very upset little boy. He was no older than four years old. Our music and drama therapy session was ending and he was quite sad. Yet he didn’t know how to process his feelings about the play coming to a close. When my co-therapist and I told him that in five minutes we would begin to pack up the instruments, the child began to run around the room in circles. Next, he picked up a trash can and threw it. My co-therapist gently talked to the boy, first giving him directives to stop. When this yielded no results, my colleague calmly picked up the child and brought him into a basket hold. And then like a wounded animal, the child began to cry and said he didn’t want to leave the music/drama group. He was having too much fun.

I think we could all benefit from the strong loving arms of someone bigger than us, as we rage about all the things that have gone wrong in our lives. If we let God put us in a basket hold, it might soothe the broken, skittish parts of ourselves.

We want to fight yet it is far wiser to surrender. In that, there is power.

The other day, this rose fell from its stem. It had been part of a lovely bouquet. Rather than toss it out, I placed it in a mason jar of water. I remembered that my grandmother had created gorgeous flower arrangements sustained in water alone.

Instead of dying, this blossom has remained strong. Contained in the safety of glass and water, it has thrived.

When falling to the ground with petals wide open, would that I let the Lord drop me in a glass of water and protection. Would that I thrive and radiate my essence.


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