“Come, live in my heart and pay no rent.”S. Lover
Oftentimes, we attempt to communicate while keeping a safe distance. We converse with others through thick layers of protection so no one can reach at the core of our being – where we are vulnerable and can be possibly hurt. Gerard Egan probes into the fear we experience in interpersonal relationships:“You can’t reveal yourself on a deep level to another person without creating, by the very act of self-disclosure, some degree of closeness between you and that other person. Therefore, if you’re somewhat fearful of self-disclosure, it may be that what you really fear is getting close to others. There are people who fear human closeness more than they fear death. Why should you fear closeness? Well, getting closer to others places certain demands and responsibilities on you. If you care about another person, you want to be available to him or her, and that puts limitations on your freedom.”
When we establish friendships that are free of control, we find life. When we let go of our control over others, we drink deep of love and life’s freshness.Sixto Porras states, “A friendship covenant means… I will be at your side, I will look out for your best, you will feel dignified being with me, and you will be a healthier, better person when we are together. In these transactions, we establish a pact, a covenant of intimacy and trust. I do not manipulate your life , nor make you dependent upon me, nor are you my appendix, neither do you exist only to the measure you exist for me. With every advance of our friendship, you feel more self-respect, more independent. You are more yourself when you are with me. Your happiness and your progress do not depend upon me… Do you realize that we cannot depend on others to find our contentment? We have to have ownership of ourselves and our own life. “What a liberating feeling it is to interact without having to pay any rent, dues, obligations, favors, in a friendship. This is the essence of true love.
The result of Christ’s saving work is an invisible cross we are meant to bear. It is ultimately, the cross of letting go of our control over life and over others. Though the cross is invisible, the pain involved in letting go is real and tangible. We have been sent on a mission of love that requires setting people free and allowing them to grow independently in God. This requires trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to change others. We need to remember this wise saying each time we are tempted to take control: “Whoever seeks to change anyone but himself, only adds to the misery he wishes to eliminate.”-- Amen!--
TR © 2008