The Illusion of Powerlessness

Here’s a simple truth in our human lives:

We manage our experience. We don’t control it.

What does that mean?

You manage money, you manage your job, you manage your bills, you manage the food you eat, you manage where you live, you manage the details of your day-to-day experience but…

You don’t control it.

Anything that can be taken away from you isn’t under your control. You simply manage it.

To control money you’d have to print it.

To control food you’d not only have to grow it but also control the weather.

You might be able to control what you do for a living, but you can’t control how much you make, whether they pay you or not, how often they pay you, nor can you make them hire you. If you sell products or services you can’t make people buy your stuff. Your job can be taken away and your business can be shut down.

We have choices within all these things of course. We can choose which services to pay for. We can choose what food to eat based on what’s available. We can choose what to wear. We can choose whether to buy something or not. We can choose who we work for. We can choose where we live. We have some degree of choice with those things, but after those decisions are made, everything is simply managed or out of our control entirely.

Now, the point of this isn’t to be a downer. I want you to recognize that managing your life is not the same as controlling it. The reason why that matters is because when something happens that you don’t have control over, you can retain your sense of power within yourself.

I’ve been talking a bit about indirect control through words and actions. The reason why those are indirect is because when you pay the bill, you don’t have control over what happens next. You assume they will get the payment. You assume it will be applied to your account. You assume the service will stay on, but the truth is you don’t have control over those things. That means you can still lose the service tomorrow even if the bill is paid today. You took the indirect control you had by paying the bill. Everything else is out of your control.

When you go to that grocery to buy the food, that’s indirect control. You’re in control of what you buy, but you can’t buy what’s not available. You’re in control of how much you spend, but you don’t have control over how much things cost. Grocery shopping is about managing your experience so that you don’t starve. It’s not a form of control because the food supply can change tomorrow.

The reality is that you accept these kinds of scenarios all the time. For us here in Canada, the company that manufactures sugar is on strike. Guess what’s not available at the store right before Christmas? Sugar. All types of sugar. My choice is to figure out how to manage what I have so that hopefully I can still do my Christmas baking. I can’t make the sugar company go back to work. I’m not in control of that so my job is to manage my experience.

In all of these kinds of scenarios what you’re doing is looking for the point of control that you have. What are my choices within this experience? What control do I have? What indirect control do I have?

The more you allow yourself to see it that way, the less powerless you begin to feel, particularly when the bad stuff happens. This can help you stop arguing with your reality.

What do I mean?

When you feel trapped in your circumstances, that’s a feeling of powerlessness. No matter how well you manage your experience in those circumstances, you still don’t necessarily have the ability to change them. You’re not in control of that shift, so you simply manage it until the opportunity presents itself to change things.

Manifestation is a form of indirect control. When we talk about manifestation we usually talk about giving up control or surrendering. We talk about not worrying about how it comes to you or when you get it. Well, guess what? Daily life works very much the same way. We manage what we can and leave the rest.

Powerlessness then becomes an illusion of perception because it’s not entirely true. The things you don’t have control over you’ve never had control over and you will never have control over them. What’s happening is that you don’t like your circumstances and so you’re wanting to give yourself more ability to create change by wishing you could control things you’ve never been able to control before.

It creates an argument within yourself and it’s one that I’m realizing I’ve been stuck in for a bit. It’s this tug of war between being okay with managing the experience such as it is and then trying to control it because I’m not happy with certain things and I want to change it.

So what’s my job?

Manage my experience until the opportunity presents itself to change it.

When will that be offered? Who knows.

Can I do anything about it? Nope.

Does it help if I just stay mad all the time or argue with it? Nope.

My indirect control is in the work that I do. It’s in the blog that I’m writing. It’s in the book I’m thinking about starting. It’s in the offers that I make to sell my products and services. The thing I don’t have control is whether the blog gets read or whether you buy the products and services I offer. The only thing I can do is manage the experience by continuing to offer those things to you. The goal is that eventually things change and get better. But can I control that in the meantime? No.

That offers me the ability to end the tug-of-war with what’s happening around me. It offers me the ability to find my own point of control and focus on managing my experience. The illusion of powerlessness came from my inability to affect change in my experience.

But it is an illusion. The powerlessness is just an old wound. I still have my power. It’s just limited. I can only control what I can control. I have to leave the rest alone.

So, that’s it! That’s how it works. Manage your experience, let go of control, and see what happens. Just keep doing the best you can everyday. Recognize where your power is and allow that to be enough.

It has to be enough! What other choice do you have?

This is truly learning to be okay in the life you’re in when you don’t have the power to change it. That’s where I am and maybe that’s where you are too. It’s okay to be there. Stop arguing with it and just allow it to be what it is.

It will change, just keep managing your experience until it does.

Love to all.



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