The Blizzard Clobbered us with the truth about control.


How does a control freak control a blizzard? He or she doesn’t.

The snowmegeddon that enveloped New England increased my awareness of something I teach and often preach about to friends and family. The essential truth is that we have absolute control over nothing, not even our next breath. If we can learn to accept this truth, our lives become easier.

However, I and millions like me have read and believed that we can do anything if we want to. Well, it’s certainly fun to believe that, and perhaps to strive to achieve it, but trying to manipulate life’s inevitable challenges can leave you exhausted.

The blizzard came at a very inopportune time for me. I had all kinds of plans to get my house in order before I had my left shoulder replaced. Well, the universe had other plans. Needless to say, having a joint replaced is not exactly a walk in the park. It does cause anxiety. Then, top it off with hurricane-force winds, 20 inches of snow and no lights. As the storm grew more ferocious, so did my need to ask, “Why me?”

At one point, I truly thought this was a test for me to survive. Our egos get so involved, we think there must be a plot to undermine our plans.

I had made all kinds of promises to myself about ending my procrastination and looking into buying a generator. I remember having the same thoughts years ago in a similar situation.

The bottom line is that much of who we are is formed early in life, and changing our behaviors is a daunting task.

I also tend to think something magical will happen — like someone will come along and take over. That’s more magical thinking.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, many of us are taught to feel that we have powers that others don’t have.

I have created a lot of my destiny. My career was the outcome of many goals that I achieved. But I was not imbued with the ability to stop snow in its tracks.

Striving for goals that can make you successful or help you have better relationships is reasonable. Understanding that you might not succeed no matter how hard you try is reasonable, too.

I am hoping that this latest bit of insanity that nature imposed upon us will reduce my need to think I can be the Grand Poobah of the universe. But an inner voice always seems to say, “Give me a break, you know no one else can do things as well as you can.”

Ah, the best-laid plans of mice and men — and sometimes me.

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, 'Get a Life'.
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4 Responses to The Blizzard Clobbered us with the truth about control.

  1. Matthew Chiglinsky says:

    I know what you did wrong. You didn’t pray to Jesus. If you had prayed to Jesus, everything would have worked out, at least for you. Everyone else who didn’t pray would have been screwed by this natural disaster, but you and anyone else who prayed to Jesus would have been okay.

    That was the irrational logic presented to me by my mom the last time a hurricane hit our area. She still doesn’t seem to get life.

    “And then, something happened. I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.”
    (“Fight Club”)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/quotes?qt=qt0479149

    (You were my very first blog follower 2 years ago, by the way, for whatever that’s worth. I just wanted to say, “Hi.”)

  2. I totally understand your sentiments about needing to let go of control and allow the best laid plans to be changed, especially in the midst of this recent New England 2013 blizzard. My daughter Kathryn got married February 9th, and all went beautifully well despite the enormous snowstorm! Her wedding story of determined true love against the challenge of the blizzard was carried around the globe when it was picked up by the associated press. We all definitely learned to smile, let go and trust. The story’s title: Blizzard Nemo Bride: For Massachusetts bride and groom, nice day for a white wedding

  3. shansen1@comcast.net says:

    You’re right, tho’ we can’t control anyone but ourselves and not Things, Other people,  or W eather !

    I enjoyed your talk at Bentley Village a couple years ago and all your articles by email.

    Are you coming back to Naples again?  I would  like to see you again on stage,  hear you  and you singing with your husband!       and I would like my friends   to hear and see you too!  You’re terrific and I was amazed to see your whole personna change when you switched from comedienne to sultry sonstress!  I’m not funny nor a good singer, just an artist and a writer!  We all have to BE something, I guess!

    Shirley Hansen

  4. Susan says:

    “Give me a break, you know no one else can do things as well as you can.” Part of that is true! When it comes to mining joy You are a rare character 🙂 Brotherhood of Light Books say: “What we hold in thought materializes if there isn’t too much resistance in our environment.” Thought is energy affecting astral substance. Better to feel you Can do & try your best. I figure there are unseen forces that can help us..to a point. “God helps those who help themselves” suggests we be active not passive. I believe our thoughts act collectively as well. In that sense every thought we have has power to change the world.

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