Nothing from the outside truly controls you regardless of what it is; either real or made up. It’s the set emotions attaching to what happens that cause certain responses and behaviors to arise.
Staying present with the flow of what arises in our daily life has immense value in waking up from the sleep of unconsciousness. What happens if one’s awareness isn’t expanded upon is the arisen emotional energy becomes set and it controls you; it becomes the master and you the slave. The set emotional energy is what causes one to react to life in the way that they do. Nothing from the outside truly controls you regardless of what it is; either real or made up. It’s the set emotions attaching to what happens that causes one to behave in a certain manner. When one awakens, the attachment to emotions lessens as does their control.
This is how it is with all our emotions, fear becomes crippling when it becomes set and it takes you over. It’s doesn’t mean things won’t scare you, but it’s doesn’t have to be given the energy that turns it into fear. This applies to any emotion you become attached to, it sets the associated emotion and there’s no telling what behavior will arise. I guarantee you, it’s not going to be a behavior that has love flowing as its base. Emotions will arise, it’s the way the brain seems to be wired, but our energy doesn’t have to set them and give them more energy than they’re worth. We can cry our tears, or be fearful of the future. We can dislike that things aren’t going the way we think they should be, but the bottom line is this, it’s only when the emotions get set that they have the energy to stop the flow of truly living life and not only cause your suffering, but also the suffering of others.