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.