In many ways, we live in a domination culture, where what is often called love is really suppression. Those with the spirit of domination are the most psychologically and spiritually crippled. Love has nothing to do with control, and people who are obsessed with control have neither self-control nor love for themselves or others. What they hate is their own lack of self-control, so they control you. What people who try to dominate you hold in utmost contempt is your refusal to be controlled; stunted, they must stand upon you to reach the height their underdeveloped psyche has never attained. They are no different from any tyrant. The more control they try to exert on others, the more they are out of control in their inner life as an immature and diminutive being. Your obedience will earn the trappings of their deceptive rewards of protection and affection, but it will never grant you freedom. Freedom is the one thing the dominative personality can never offer, because it is only a freedom with conditions, expectations, rewards and punishments — which is not freedom at all, but bondage. Real respect is more concerned with your freedom than your obedience. Real love gives without expectation, while hate carries an endless tally of debts. Hate controls everything it touches, but love sets everything it touches free. Love is not about others; love is a practice of self-mastery. Mature and loving beings desire to create a space of safety and freedom for everyone and everything in their presence. A loving person will master himself and contract, to open the space for another to expand and be free in his presence. The more mature and loving you become, the more you become concerned with people and creatures less powerful than you, and the more careful and gentle you become with their handling.