The Illusion of Control – Or Being a Superhero

So, lately in my life there have been some extra challenges.

They’re not the life and death kind, thank goodness. I and the people I love are healthy and (mostly) secure.

But the challenges that crop up can be disheartening and distressing, especially when they come in quick succession and kind of knock the wind out of me (you know what I mean?)

Sometimes they’re tied to people I love, and other times they’re connected to my teaching or writing career(s), where despite my best efforts and diligent work, I end up spinning my wheels in a way I never wanted, planned, or intended to. The giant road block (whether tangible, emotional, or mental) rises up in front of me and forces me – usually at great effort – to find a way around it.

Each of these instances sets me back on my heels for a bit. I have to process and come to terms with the hurt or angry feelings and then find a way to move through them to something better.

But that’s like taking a big, scary leap of faith, because I don’t know that what’s on the other side really IS better than what I’d planned, but I have to trust in it anyway, because I don’t have much other choice (unless I just want to sit and wallow in misery, which I don’t LOL).

Basically, it boils down to this: I’ve come to understand over the last few years that real CONTROL is an illusion.

It’s a very valuable lesson.

We can prepare. We can work. We can plan and we can hope. But ultimately that is truly all we can do, because there are no guarantees in life. And when something doesn’t go our way, we can keep beating our heads against the brick wall of it and throw our hands in the air…or we can pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and navigate around it, letting that disappointment stoke the fire in our bellies toward something better.

I recently discovered a song by The Script (I often enjoy the band’s work anyway, not only for their music, but also because I have a soft spot for Irish lads like their lanky 6′ 3′ lead singer, Danny O’Donoghue). Their song, “Superheroes” is about the superhero in all of us that we can tap into when we’re challenged by the difficulties, disappointments, or frustrations of life.

Here are the lyrics, followed by a link to the official video for the song (which was filmed in Johannesburg).

How about you – do you have any “go-to” songs or poems or quotes that inspire you when life has gotten you down?

“Superheroes”

All her life she has seen
All the meaner side of me
They took away the prophet’s dream for a profit on the streetNow she’s stronger than you know
A heart of steel starts to growAll his life he’s been told
He’ll be nothing when he’s old
All the kicks and all the blows
He won’t ever let it show’Cause he’s stronger than you know
A heart of steel starts to growWhen you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into powerWhen you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been working every day and night
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into powerAll the hurt, all the lies
All the tears that they cry
When the moment is just right
You see fire in their eyes’Cause he’s stronger than you know
A heart of steel starts to grow

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been working every day and night
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

She’s got lions in her heart
A fire in her soul
He’s a got a beast in his belly
That’s so hard to control
‘Cause they’ve taken too much hits
Taking blow by blow
Now light a match, stand back, watch them explode

She’s got lions in her heart
A fire in her soul
He’s a got a beast in his belly
That’s so hard to control
‘Cause they’ve taken too much hits
Taking blow by blow
Now light a match, stand back, watch them explode

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s a how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been working every day and night
That’s a how a superhero learns to fly
Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

Oh, yeah…

Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

Ooh, yeah
Whoa

Every day, every hour
Turn the pain into power

When you’ve been fighting for it all your life
You’ve been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly

 

One thought on “The Illusion of Control – Or Being a Superhero

  1. Mumford and Sons (last three stanzas of “The Cave”)

    Cause I need freedom now
    And I need to know how
    To live my life as it’s meant to be

    And I will hold on hope
    And I won’t let you choke
    On the noose around your neck

    And I’ll find strength in pain
    And I will change my ways
    I’ll know my name as it’s called again

    Also a quote from Day in the novel Legend by Marie Lu

    “Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time…You try to walk in the light.”

    I hope this helps some. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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