People often change your life for you, usually without your input.
The old adage still warns -- the one sure thing in life is change -- so you shouldn’t expect calm seas, though you obviously prefer them.
Personally, I would feel better if I had more control over my life. As it is, I maintain a death grip over every decision I make, convinced that good choices lead to a good life. And I still believe that.
But your decisions and these mean-spirited outside forces are forever in a boxing match with you and sometimes, you get your jaw and nose broken. And then you’re punched in the stomach.
When that happens, you have to put your hands up in defeat and hope the next beating isn’t so bad. You’ll heal. You may have cauliflower ear, but you’ll heal.
Another saying comes to mind: "You can’t control what happens to you, only your reaction to it."
Concede that precious control and just expect surprises; some will make you laugh with happiness and others will scare the daylights out of you.
These days there are few things more uncertain than employment. The peaks and valleys of the economy, the goals and decisions of your employer, lie well above your control.
So does ambition. Many of you find yourself beaten and bloodied in the workplace, where plotting, backstabbing and power plays knock you down in three rounds. You’re just getting your job done, oblivious, while these backstabbers and plotters are chit-chatting in the break room.
Unfortunately, a friend of mine knows what this is all about.
After almost four years employment, she got wind that her job was no longer safe. Her boss dropped hints. She counted down the days to her demise. The plot to rid of them was hatched by a powerful group of people out of malice and not necessity.
With one vote perhaps, one nod of the head, their fates were decided. But before these powerful folks could take the first swing, she resigned. She was fired the next day.
She tried to take control, but those outside forces had other plans.
Unfortunately, you can’t take the reins and tell those forces how to steer your life. They could care less what you think of them and will take you down again after you’ve picked yourself up.
You could get sick, a flood could wash away your house, your spouse could stop loving you. And there’s only so much you can do.
But you can do something. Listen to that old saying: you can control your reaction. Don’t search for a reason why, because there rarely is one. Rather, find purpose and give the situation meaning.
That is hard to do while you’re crying like a baby. But change turns into normalcy and life goes on. You may have hit the mat, nearly unconscious, but you’ll get back up again.
JH Mae is a Banner columnist.