Motivation and Control

Control is something people like me will struggle with a lot. We’ll give advice or behave in a certain way, all in the hope that other people will see we love and care, and perhaps even show love and care back.

It’s a cycle of torment though, if I’m honest.

We’re a little more complex that simply “I love you, love me too.”

With the diversity of life, freewill and choice, sometimes people don’t respond in ways which we expect, sometimes they don’t respond at all. On top of that there are the languages of love too, so even if love and consideration is shown back, sometimes I can miss it because my “love radar” isn’t tuned into picking up the wavelength on which love is shown back.

When I don’t receive the love / appreciation, whether it’s shown back or not, I grow resentful and the challenge is not to give into trying to control the situation.

How would I control?

By offering advice, expecting an outcome or even using a little manipulation to get what I desire – appreciation.

It’s all so silly really. I shouldn’t care if someone takes my advice or not!

Yet that’s the struggle I deal with, it’s so tempting to slip into codependency, relying on another to validate my emotional wellbeing.

If I feel that I don’t get my needs met, I’m operating out of a desire to get my needs met, as opposed to operating out of a willingness to give unconditionally.

How on earth do I get over this need to receive love, this need to know that I’m a nice person?

Let’s face it, if we don’t feel appreciated, we do begin to wonder what it is we’ve done that’s so bad, or is it just me?

So I realised I just have to look at my motives. Now I’m spiritual, I’d label my self, if you will, a born again Christian. So just the other week I was reflecting on this dilemma and “what is love.”

I felt challenged, that it comes down to my motive and reason for doing something.

Why would I do something? Is it to get love and admiration. Is it to get affection? Or is it because I genuinely just want to give it with no expectation?

You know, the complex I live with is, even if the motivation is pure, it’s so easy to slip into resentment – in the back of my mind there’s always that niggle that says “they hate you, they don’t appreciate it, you’ve failed.”

I grow tired of giving and begin to resent myself for doing what I’ve done, and beat myself up. That’s when I know I’m slipping into the old ‘rescuer’ me.

It’s a nasty complex, but to overcome it, I try mindfulness, reminding myself that above all things I am loved by God, and if I do things out of a motivation to please him, then I can release the situation to God and not worry about the outcome.

It’s tough though, I’ll tell you now, and it feels like death when I let go. Ultimately I believe that my need to be loved can only be met in God, and when I release the desire to “take” love from another, I find freedom to just be me and relax.

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