Less control – More Attraction

One of the toughest things in life is not to control the world… but to control oneself. We have gained control of our world through the devices we own…mobile phones, digital clocks, electronic diaries, air conditioners, microwave ovens… automatic cars, elevators… we control almost everything… EXCEPT our most powerful device…


Today… in spite of wanting more control, our biggest challenges are:
1. How to stop controlling others.

  1. How to stop others controlling us.

In this new series of blogs, I will discuss mind power  and how it control us. Lets also see how we can be more in control of ourselves. I will correspondingly cover how we should not try to control others, as this goes against basic universal principles of free flow and draw.

Lets first understand the biggest remote control – NEED.

When others control us, it is primarily because they give us something we really need/desire.

Lets analyze the basic relationship – between parent and child.

A child needs love, food, clothing, education, toys, spending money, permission…  so parents  conveniently use the needs of the child to control the child. As the child grows, he realizes that many of the things he needed from his parents are things he can get for himself. The control aspect of the parent on the child correspondingly diminishes.

As he becomes an adolescent, the needs of the child shift from basic survival needs to higher needs as he knows he will get his food, fees, clothes etc. He therefore takes these as his birthright and he focuses on his new needs – acceptance from the peer group, relationship/s with the opposite sex, etc. He also realizes that since he can also do something for/in the home, his value  grows. As he gets bigger his strength/courage grows… fear factor diminishes and sometimes even tilts the other way. He knows he can change his approach from requesting/asking to negotiating and maybe even demanding. This is a stage for re-adjustments… the child is growing into an adult, and within him he knows that he has to break free of the parent/child control, if he has to establish his own individuality. This symbolic cutting of the mental umbilical cord needs to be done. But it is disconcerting for the parent, as it automatically brings in a new dimension into the relationship – adult-adult negotiation.

The young adult can use what he has to give (respect, helping out at home, coming back on time, studying hard)  to negotiate what he gets …. (fulfilment of needs). Here the process of balancing NEEDS with PRICE gets established.

Later in life, romance/marriage brings another dimension of this Need/Price equation into play.

Scene 1. Wife is not working.

Here, the husband can use money as a lever, to control things in the house. He decides what is bought – food, clothing, entertainment, gadgets etc…. and so he has almost full control over the home.

If the wife is smart, she can use what she has to give… love, respect, sex, or doing things for his family/parents to negotiate a little. In so doing, the wife restores some parity in the relationship. Maybe she can even get some gratitude as a bonus.

The really smart/shrewd wife knows that she can do the things she wants by making the hubby FEEL that he is in control, and still do what she wanted to do. Most wives are not so cunning, but they figure out pretty quickly that they have a commodity that the husband really needs, and she then uses this as a negotiating lever, and sometimes even as a negotiating weapon.

Scene 2. Wife is working. 

This situation calls for a different style of relationship, because the husband has limited negotiating power, and so he has to negotiate more and control less. This new relationship does not have a clear paradigm, and hence in the pushing and pulling, it is causing a lot of problems with marriages today. Neither party is willing to give in to the other, and so… it is often better to part ways and look for other options. The double income household is still being understood, and in the meantime, marriages will continue to feel tremors and aftershocks.

General Scene.

Husbands soon realize that while he may need sex, she surely needs communication, understanding and respect. So, if he feels he is getting short changed somewhere, he uses the newly discovered levers to restore ‘parity’ for himself. This normally starts a series of battles that many marriages constantly endure. The problems reach frightening proportions during mid life, as this is the time for maximum stress for both parties. This becomes a time riddled with trauma/tribulation and sometimes even worse.

Picture Perfect.

The ancient technique for gaining self control was to detach ourselves from our desires. But then again who wants to be an ascetic? Is there another, more practical path?

YES THERE IS…. A Higher Way!

The ideal relationships are those where what is given and what is gained… is not reduced to a transaction, but is understood from the context of the whole. Life is, after all, a series of meaningful interactions where understanding is the process, and redressing of needs becomes a joint goal. The best relationships are those where there is trust, and understanding, and where things are not bargained, but given freely – without counting the cost. This builds a healthy reservoir of respect (call this an emotional bank account which is best operated as a joint account which can be operated by either party). Here each does things for the other (makes a deposit) and can ask for something (make a withdrawal) and where neither is counting what is taken, nor what is given.

LOVE therefore is about not keeping score.

It is about giving/taking what one needs.

It is about respect/trust without doubts and counter checks.

It is about knowing that the account will grow more… even when both withdraw freely.

Desires will be fulfilled and needs will be realized when the relationship is about how much we can do for the other… and not about what the other does for us.

This might seem a Utopian Fantasy… but believe me…

Magic happens when we give freely – without any expectations. 

Abundance manifests when we give n do more; we grow n be more.

Ian Faria.

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