Do we really have control over our lives?
That’s a question that I’ve been wrestling with for a good portion of my life. I still don’t have definitive answers. I’m not sure that anyone on this planet truly does. No matter what the psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, theologists and social workers tell us that we do, in spite of cognitive therapy, New Age thinking, Quantum Physics, religious beliefs as well as spiritual beliefs, there’s truly no concrete evidence to support that we have complete control over our lives.
As much as I hate to admit it out of embarrassment, I used to be so desperate to have control over my life and troubles that I’d often sit in front of a television set in my 20’s, hand on the tv screen “as a point of contact” as the Evangelist minister would tell viewers to do, hoping beyond all hope and with full faith that somehow, if I believed enough and did what I was told to do, there was going to be a miracle of some sort that would straighten around what was going wrong or badly in my life. I believed that God in Jesus name, would swoop down and make everything right in my world or, at least most of it.
The outcome was less than stellar I would find out without fail. Whatever I prayed to not happen, happened and not only that but, things got worse. It took sore knees, a lot of disappointment and a broken faith to realize that praying seemed to either not work or be doing more harm than good. I wondered whether I’d been doing it wrong all of those years. Maybe, I was? I don’t know. I did what I was told to the letter so to speak, even sending in money that I didn’t have to these ministries and then, switching religions, hoping to find something magical that would solve my problems because in spite of all of my efforts, I couldn’t do it on my own.
As the years went by, I lost hope of there being any good in praying. Maybe, God, Higher Powers or whatever existed beyond us, if anything, didn’t intervene in our lives here? Perhaps, praying and believing in a Higher Power of any sort was another way of trying to gain control over things that we truly don’t have control over?
Please note that in no way am I saying that God or whatever you call your Higher Power, doesn’t exist. I do believe that there’s something higher than us but, not in the Biblically taught form that I learned about in churches. At least, that’s my personal belief but, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am correct.
One by one, I lost my family members, pets and even a few friends to their deaths. I lost jobs, friends, money, hope, faith and was rejected more times than I care to think about. No matter what I did or, how hard I tried to gain control over the issues I was dealing with, they seemed to get the better of me in spite of my efforts.
I didn’t sit back and give up though. Every failure or defeat, I’d throw myself a Shock and Pity Party but, eventually got myself up off the ground, re-grouped, dusted my rear off and tried again or attempted to take a different path. I have never simply given up. The difference now though is that I don’t necessarily believe that an outside force or higher energy or power will do it for me. It has to be my own hard work and determination I realized and, there will be things that I won’t be able to do anything to change. Of course, it was the conclusion that I’d reached after many, many failed attempts at trying to get a higher power to help me. Maybe “It” was helping me but, I saw no real evidence for it. I still don’t but, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. I simply think that “It”, in whatever form it takes, doesn’t solve our problems for us. That is part of Life, that we, as human beings in physical form, must go through for our own learning curve.
Given that sort of realization, I also realized that we are only in control of so much in our lives. We can make select or certain choices for ourselves whether they are good ones or bad, we have the ability to make some choices. However, that doesn’t ensure a good outcome for us.
People often ask why it is that children die at young ages of horrid diseases such as cancers, why there are people all over the planet who are living in almost unbearable conditions, illnesses and such while others, having no quality of life and are at extremely advanced ages, go on to live way beyond a point where they can do anything that would make life enjoyable. I have no perfect or real answer for that of course and, I have yet to find anyone who does, in spite of their attempts at offering up what they believe to be answers. Who is right and who is wrong? If one were to take The Bible or other religious teachings literally, they would claim that they were right and I was wrong because “it says so in The Bible (or other religious books).” However, I question whether those teachings can and should be taken literally or metaphorically.
So, what is in control?
Right now, I see that whatever has caused family members to have passed on, was not under my, their control or even the doctors’ control. There was and is some other force that has more control than we do in a lot of ways. Do we call that force a Higher Power or Nature. That has been my question all along but, I think I have arrived at a personal conclusion that fits for me at this moment in time since I’ve never had proof of anything else that interferes or intervenes in our lives here on this earth.
What is Nature?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Nature as:
“A creative and controlling force in the universe”
This is where I woke up to the idea that Nature causes defective mechanisms in living creatures, including human beings. No no one wishes tragedy upon themselves but, we also aren’t in control of our genetics or biological make-ups, including our mental health. We can take care of ourselves to the best of our abilities, eat correctly, exercise, not smoke or drink or do any of the things that are considered unhealthy but, we may have a genetic predisposition towards certain ailments no matter what we do or don’t do. We can delay the onset but if Nature has genetically encoded a certain pre-disposition into us for one thing or another, we are more likely than someone not encoded with those genetics toward going to go down that route in one way or another either fully or partially no matter what we do or don’t do. It also explains why children die young with cancers who haven’t had a chance to do anything wrong to their bodies and their parents have no bad habits that would endanger them. It may also explain why an elderly person, having lived a good, long life, well into their 90’s but, has no quality of life due to dementia or Alzheimers or a plethora of other health ailments that make their lives existing versus living, continue to go on living while young children are dying. We are all individually made with Nature driven controls that we have little control over most of the time.
Mankind can work hard but Nature can tear it apart or take it down
No matter how much money we have. in spite of how hard we work or how determined we are, Nature can trump what we’ve accomplished. Whether we are looking at buildings that man has worked hard to build and buy but, tornados, hurricanes, wind storms, tsunamis and everything else one can think of in Natural causes. A friend of mine had their house hit by lightening and had to stand back, watching everything he’d worked his entire life to have, go in that fire. Not even his children’s photos were left behind. He had no control over what Nature had done with seemingly a random sense of destruction for no good reason. He wondered why. Why him and his house? Had he done something wrong in his life? Was he that bad to deserve this and God was punishing him or, was it all simply random acts of Nature and his house was unfortunate enough to be in its path? Either way, he had no control over any of it. Even fire fighters were unable to do much to save anything. There was no real control other than to ensure that once it had all burned down, the embers were watered enough to be put out. He stood in rubble of charred pieces as the media descended upon him to take his photo and write a story.
I’ve often thought about my family and friends who left this planet at young ages with both diseases that weren’t either preventable or treatable nor, of their own making. I’ve seen friends and family members die in freak accidents at young ages. I’ve heard an ER nurse say that she’s seen people come into the ER, clinging to life by a thread and make it through whereas, someone coming in with a minor injury, dies. She couldn’t explain it. Was it God or was it Nature? Is it a combination of the two? Whatever it is, it begs the question of randomness or intentional aim. If God doesn’t save dying children and allows the elderly with no quality of life to live on, what is that saying about God? I cannot swallow the answer of “no” or the ages old reasoning of “it’s a lesson for someone.” Is God random in His choices? Or, are we all victims of both God and Nature?
In my mind, Nature rules this planet, not God. Does God exist? Maybe, but my experiences have taught me that He doesn’t intervene in our lives while we’re incarnate in our human physical form. That leaves Nature as the ruling and governing force in my estimation. Nature is random with no reason, aim or rational. It simply is and does as it pleases or not as it doesn’t. In other words, we’re not in control of everything in our lives and there’s no outside sources that are going to do it for us. There’s no magic.
I may be wrong but, that’s the way that I’m seeing things at this moment from my little corner of life.
Be well. Blessings, Love and Light.
Have a great day or evening and discuss this topic below with me and others. Leave a comment but, please don’t preach or use personal attacks.