I have been training for a long time. In the last few years I have had growing doubts about the place of aikido in my life and its value as a practice. When I hear about "the life-giving sword" etc, I feel a bit sick. I doubt the philosophy, I don't think controlling people "for their own good" is a great goal, I don't want to fight anymore by whatever name. Aikido has been so important to me in the past, just wondering if anyone else has been through this and stuck with it, and if so what happened...
1. Janet is correct about aikido - it is not about controlling others, its about controlling yourself. There are several great books which explain in different ways different philosophies behind aikido. Hit a couple of those and see if it helps.
2. Aikido is about conflict resolution, not necessarily "fighting." You will always have conflict in your life even if you choose not to fight. I know several people who have successfully adopted this understanding and continue to train.
As a personal note, I rarely hear explained correctly the dicotomy of satsujinken (the killing sword) and katsujinken (the life-giving sword). That particular analogy seems to be a big buzz-word in aikido that sometimes does not get a good translation.