I was doing some work on my computer while my dog, Louie, was experiencing yet another existential crisis as he desperately wanted to play catch with me…and yet was not willing to let me have the ball.

 

As this exchange often does, it got me thinking about control, and how grabbing ahold of (or pushing away) something so fiercely can sometimes rob us of joy in life.

I thought about romantic love. Perhaps the ball is a metaphor for all of the love that I have….I mean, um…Louie has to give. Innately, he wants to share it with someone else.

Yet…he won’t risk it.

I have this comfort zone of people whom I love and trust – it is a truly rich and wonderful place…and the idea of widening it feels…very unnerving. 

It seems like whenever I get a little optimistic about my readiness to do so, I get tested…and I retreat, hastily.

I met a man a few weeks ago. We hit it off and exchanged phone numbers, but by the time I got home I had already talked myself out of wanting to see him again. He hadn’t asked me to love him nor to let him love me. He hadn’t even asked me to go for a cup of coffee yet…but in my head I was already saying no to all of the above.

I was confused by my strong negative reaction after such a fun first encounter. I honestly wasn’t sure whether I was being intuitive and I just knew on some level that this guy was not for me…or if I was just being chicken shit. I suspected the latter. Nevertheless he failed to meet the expectations of how I thought he should behave (via text, no less) aaannndd…end of story.

Perhaps I dodged a bullet, or perhaps it was a bit of a self-fulfilled prophecy. I will never know, because I didn’t really give him a chance…not really.

I was not willing (or able?) to let go of the metaphorical ball. I am not even sad about that. I am relieved. Which, considering I do wish to have a relationship again in this lifetime, is a bit concerning.

Getting back to the video, if you watched it until the end you saw that amusingly, Louie loses control of his ball anyway, despite his best efforts to the contrary.

Sometimes when we refuse to let go, life finds a way of making decisions for us. I’d like to think that when the “right” person comes along, it will be something somewhat impossible for me to fuck up….but, I do see that this could be complicated by me being unwillingly to…share my ball, if you will.

While I was turning this over in my mind a quote popped up in my Facebook news feed:

“Sooner or later we will come to the edge of all that we can control and find life, waiting there for us.”  – Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

Ah yes, there is a beautiful, rich life waiting for us as soon as we release control.

Maybe, and also…

There are really terrible and fucked up things waiting, too. Except I am finding that the bad things happen whether we think we are in control or not.

The good things don’t seem to have the same tenacity.

The tragedies bust down the door, while the blessings gently knock…perhaps only to be heard when we deign to listen…and to invite them in. 

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