Upon thinking it through one cannot help but agree, considering the central role the amorphous but powerful spirit of love plays in Christian belief, and in all our lives, spiritual and earthly. But by the same token other difficulties arise here on earth; the problem of self-awareness, for one. We are recipients and givers of responses from birth; “experiencers” and givers of love but also bearers of jealousy, false pride and vainglory, among other things. The universal response to the “whips and scorns of outrageous fortune” is often “Why me? -- me of all people!” Though we seem more and more to congregate in droves, each “sheep” may be unable to quite understand why it should feel so lost or alone at times. We form ant-like files on crowded roadways, and this highly developed sense of self-dom not only shuns carpools, but under personally perceived stresses it rarely lets us play the part of just one of the “spear-carriers in life’s Grand Opera”. We feel special in some vague way and in the very midst of crowds of fellow beings there is concurrently a curious capacity to be acutely sensitive to intimate sore spots, loneliness or abandonment, real or fancied. It is just here that we are vulnerable, more apt to turn to vanity as compensation-- and hiding place. What is often hidden of course, is a sense of personal weakness and failure-- one of the sternest taboos in a society of self-sufficient others-- apparent loss of self control.
Anxiety is defined for our present purposes as simply the fear of losing control, specifically control over our bodies, our feelings, and our lives. The various reactions or defenses against anxiety are seen as efforts at maintaining a sense of control, not all of which are in our immediate awareness. It is also contended here that we are not supposed to have “control” in the first place. I am keenly aware that this view will not be accepted charitably by many.