Music Make You Lose Control

September 11, 2015

"You cannot control what you love." -- The Power and the GloryGraham Greene, p. 36​
 


Plus, if you truly love someone, why would you want to control them?  To control someone necessarily means that you're exerting your wishes or demands upon them; if they were willing to go along with you in the first place, then you wouldn't be controlling them, it would just be a mutually agreeable decision.

The antithesis of love vs. control also calls to mind the saying: "if you love something let it go, if it comes back to you it's yours, if it doesn't then it never was."  The point of that axiom is that one may need to let go of control, precisely in order to find out if there is love.  But to now "let it go" implies that you were intentionally not letting it go until now, which calls into question whether it was truly love to begin with.  I also don't agree with the implication that we should in any way test whether someone loves us or not.

When I think of control in the context of family law, I think of abuse between family or household members or intimate partners.  Abusers will often control, or attempt to control, those whom they abuse.  They'll do so through threats and intimidation, as well as actual physical or sexual abuse, all with the objective of controlling the other person.  As explained above, though, control is contrary to love.  Control is self-centered, whereas love is other-centered.

All of this makes me think of God.  God loves you.  And in fact, God is love.  God gave us free will -- meaning that, first and foremost, we are free to believe in God or not, as well as lead our lives and make our decisions -- which is the opposite of control.  But while giving us free will, God wants what is best for us, to be happy and healthy, in our mind, body, and soul.

And, as mentioned above, love is not self-centered, but other-centered, which is exactly what Jesus commanded: to love others as you love yourself, the Golden Rule.  To love and to be loved necessarily require a subject and an object, in other words, it is a directional relationship, thus negating the possibility that it could be self-centered and instead requiring that it be other-centered.

So, to sum up, what does it mean to love?  It means to emulate God: to want what is best for others, to want others to be happy and healthy, in their mind, body, and soul.  It means actively and affirmatively doing the loving, just as God loves us, with perhaps hope, but not expectation, of return (since that is a temptation of selfishness).  And to bring it back to and conclude with Mr. Greene's pithy quote, it means to not control.

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F. TIGHE BURNS, ESQ.

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