It has been an enlightening day for me. I got some insight into an old relationship today that came from an unexpected place. The details don’t matter, but I realize that in the end it was all about power and control.
Isn’t so much of life about power and control? Maybe this is why it takes me a long time to figure things out – neither of those matter much to me. I forget they are driving forces for so many people. Sometimes I wish I understood others better, but as I wrote some time ago, “the ‘norm’ is a mystery to me.”
When people’s lives are out of control, when they have no real power, they exert power over whatever in their lives they can – including relationships, colleagues, their personal appearance and dozens of other things.
It’s been an eye opening realization for me. As I look back over a number of years, I can see multiple instances where I – or a situation I was engaged in – was the victim of someone’s life being out of control and them needing to exert power and control over *something*, which became the relationship/situation/whatever. It’s the reason I’ve spent time doing incredibly stupid busy work, the reason I’ve cried over lost loves, the reason I haven’t understood purchasing decisions, and no doubt many other things that will eventually occur to me.
What to do about this? Well, all I can come up with is… nothing… other than to not have anyone in my world who cares about these things. That’s much easier said than done. We can’t choose all the people we do business with or interact with on a regular basis. Besides, these are not horrible traits in and of themselves, it’s how they are manifested when people feel powerless that is the problem.
We all feel powerless at times. It’s what we do about that that matters. I generally get in the car and drive and get away. Or, plan a trip further away to remove myself from the situation. I turn to my journals and try to figure things out. The ways I try to regain control over my life are much more subtle than the “housecleaning” others sometimes do. I haven’t ever felt the urge to go cut a foot off my hair because work sucked. But, people do things like that – dramatically change their personal appearances – without realizing why they’re doing them.
I think if you’re living consciously, present, in the moment, you’re less likely to do something like that. But, that could just be my thinking, and have no bearing in reality.
I don’t think it’s a conscious decision by people when they feel out of control. They just feel out powerless – impotent, if you will – and so they exert whatever power they have to control whatever they can. Sometimes you or the situation you are in is something they can control, so they do.
I guess if I were a more easily controlled woman that would probably have served the purpose to some degree. But, that’s not who I am. So, there you go. Maybe the trick is for me to choose to work and play with people who are present and in the moment, and can find different ways to deal with it when they feel powerless. Yeah, hmmmm….. good luck with figuring that out in advance. We humans just aren’t that predictable when it comes to such things. So, you live and learn… and so does everyone else on the planet… and hopefully you meet in the middle somewhere.
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