You know the feeling. Things have been going great (in your life, in a relationship, at work), but then something goes terribly wrong. A situation takes a turn for the worse. Things aren’t working out like they should. What once felt balanced and manageable, maybe even perfect, is suddenly out of control — out of your control.
That was how I felt when I wrote Reasons in 2012.
Acquiring knowledge or information can provide a sense of peace, either as a source of hope to cling to or perhaps as some form of reassurance. If we understand something, we can better deal with it, right?
But if we’re being honest, we might have to admit (at least some of the time) this is simply a way to assuage our desire for control.
Here’s the truth: we have far less control than we’d like to think. Crises are good for revealing this — because not only does pressure unmask the illusion of control (oftentimes, that’s all control is: an illusion), it also unveils our insatiable desire for control (to be in control, or at least to feel like we’re in control).
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, I thought I would share how this brokenness manifested in me as I teetered on the cusp of a heart-shredding, life-changing breakup. I was grasping for answers, desperately trying to figure out where things went wrong.
If I can understand, I can fix it.
If I can understand, I can make sure it doesn’t happen again.
That’s what I told myself. In reality, I was trying to control the outcome of my current situation (and all future situations if possible). That way, I wouldn’t have to go through this again. I wouldn’t have to experience more heartache.
Control is a way for people to avoid the most excruciating pain known to mankind…emotional pain. But control really is, at best, just an illusion. At worst, it might even be manipulation.
Can I get a reason?
I need one, I want one
I’ve got to have one
For this, for that
It’s more than a “want”
I need to find one
Oh, if I could
It’s driving me crazy
And making me woesome
It’s making me anxious
Can’t somebody see
I’ve got to have one?
Must I beg or borrow
Or steal one?
Can I get a reason?
-Written December 11, 2012