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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Power (05/10/04)

TITLE: Relinquish the Power to Control
By Joanne Malley
05/11/04

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Relinquish the Power to Control
by Joanne Malley



Imagine you're finally sitting down to relax after a truly stressful, exhausting day. You think to yourself, right about now, a cup of soothing cammomile tea, enhanced with a dose of sweet honey, may help calm the storm of nerves that's coursing through my veins!

Why is it sometimes that the biggest cyclone of stress seems to pass by us without warning, hitting us with the power of a wind gone wild? Simply because that's life. And, while life is happening, we are weathering many powerful storms. Some we can control and some we can't.

Think literally now of the most wicked storm you have ever seen. Perhaps, if your memory was like mine, you've seen it from your garage on a hot summer day sitting next to your dad who just loved watching a storm through the huge open door. He would gather his favorite lawn chair, grab a refreshing drink in hand, and watch with pleasure. He would almost treat it as he was watching the most awesome performance given during a Broadway play.

For me, I didn't get it! It just down-right scared me! Something with that much power right in front of me, showing me I had no control, often sent me right back into the house! You just don't ask a control freak to sit and watch a storm!

But, I presume for my dad, it was the "power" that the storm revealed and not the being in "control" that drew his attention. He obviously had no problem relinquishing control of the storm to where it belonged. Maybe he was always waiting for the wind, in its mighty fury, to kick up a lawn chair or something. I'm sure he would've given that a standing ovation!

Don't get me wrong! I like power as well, but I seem to be more drawn to the "power of control" not the power or excitement the storm posesses. Could it be why I hate to fly? Hmmm, I smell a big control issue here! That's why I'd rather drive!

Power is exhilerating, intriguing and liberating. However, if we are not careful, it can be selfish, destructive or sometimes evil. The power of control can be as damaging as the storm. Press that control button only while using caution!

I have finally come to a point in my life where I realize I don't have the power to control everything. Many parts of my life were like that storm I sometimes watched with my dad. I wanted to have control, I needed to have control, and I just simply would do almost anything for control just like that storm does. It's not going to stop until it finishes its performance. Kind of how I sometimes acted. But, oftentimes, I find that I can't control much no matter how hard I try.

I thought I had the power to control my depression and it only set me up for disappointment and low self-esteem. I sometimes thought I should be able to control it and get myself out of it. And, when I couldn't, it would make me feel worse and more worthless. I also thought I had the power to change some of my wonderful husband's not-so-splendid ways. For any of you wives out there, you know that's a battle you lost long before you married him! I even thought I had the power to make a friend happy or fix any problem they may have. But I couldn't always seem to do that either, and when I couldn't I felt bad.

I've since decided to try and stay off the path where control freaks walked! What good is the power of control, anyway? I now find myself giving more power to God where it belongs, while still giving him a helping hand. After all, I do still have the power to make certain choices or the power to control certain situations. But, I try to leave the bigger stuff to him.

So, when I feel the storms of life kicking up a good, powerful wind, I look down and make sure my skirt doesn't flip up! But, I especially look up and have more power now to "Let go and let God!"


Member Comments
Member Date
WENDY DECKER05/17/04
VERY NICE TAKE ON POWER! I ENJOYED THE HUMOR ALSO. TERRIFIC STORY!
Dian Moore05/17/04
Your last line is precious and says it all. I'm one of the control freaks that God daily tries to deal with. Great article.
Antje Hill05/17/04
I enjoyed this article so much. The "husband" part made me think of a book I have read. If you are interested, let me know!
Melanie Kerr 05/18/04
Excellent submission. Letting go of oor control of things is a difficult thing to do.
B Price05/18/04
your statement of
""Let go and let God!"
now that is powerful.
Enjoyed reading this.
Marie B. Corso05/19/04
You covered all the bases! Great treatise on power.
Leticia Caroccio05/20/04
Beautifully written. A good mix of humor and truthful life lessons. I particularly enjoyed reading about your father as he watched the storms. It made me smile. I love to sit and watch storms from my deck. I loved the part when you held your skirt from going up. That made me laugh. Really great job.
Naomi Deutekom05/20/04
Many people are hindered by the need to control. We can all learn from your article. I enjoyed it very much.
Marcell Billinghurst05/21/04
Beautifully written. I can really identify with you in your story. For one I hate storms and my husband loves them and will open the blinds to view them. At times I too struggle with relinquishing the power of being in control of situations in my life