Cutting Free of The Puppeteers
Yesterday I had two reminders of how we can be easily lulled into situations where others can make significant changes to our lives without warning or consultation. Firstly my girlfriend Gail received a call from her landlady to tell her that she was selling the house she has been living in for nearly eight years. Gail was upset, she always knew that it might happen someday but she put it to the back of her mind and carried on day to day living her life and taking the roof over her head for granted. Now she had suddenly been told that the place in which she felt safe and secure, ‘her home’, was to be taken away. To be fair her landlady had wanted to tell Gail face to face and she is not rushing thing through none the less the change has to be made and Gail has now been forced to think about making a fresh start elsewhere. She still feels upset and it will take a few days for the shock to fade but I know she is strong and will soon see this as a fantastic opportunity that fits perfectly with other changes she has been working towards for some months now. I’ll help her all I can.
The second reminder came earlier in the day Gail was telling me about how the husband of one of her friends was having a tough time at work after being told by his boss that ‘they wanted him out’. To add insult to injury he was also left in no doubt that as they wanted to avoid paying redundancy they intended to make his life hell until he quit. It’s shameful but sadly not unusual and up until that point the individual concerned had been working away 9-5 never really imagining such a thing could happen to him.
Now whilst I’m living in a rental property at the moment I’ve been planning a way out for some time now, I like the place, it serves it’s purpose but not a day goes by when I don’t remind myself that it’s not mine, I’m a tenant, someone else has control. Of the many changes I’ve gone through this past couple of years the most important one relates to this issue of control. It was actions by others that resulted in me being alone and depressed six years ago, it was actions by others that got me angry enough to start thinking of alternatives and it was actions by others that forced me into making decisions I was avoiding.
Looking back I now realise that despite fooling myself otherwise the fact is that up until 2 years ago my life was being controlled by various individuals and collective institutions with the power to make significant changes to my life at the drop of a hat and without care or consequence. I now find it unbelievable that I allowed it to happen and yet it’s the norm for most people. We’re brought up to accept that there will always be a ‘they’ who can tell us what to do and when to do it. Why do we think that’s acceptable? Is it fear? It’s far easier to blame someone else when dealt a poor hand, far easier to be a victim. the hard road is to take responsibility, refuse to accept delegation of our lives and make our own decisions.
For me personally something fundamental has changed, after the best part of half a century of taking the route of least resistance I know that I’ll never do it again. Even if I make a complete hash of things I’ll be living under a hedge before I’d go back to a ‘job’. That’s not going to happen though because although I don’t have any particular talent or ability I now have something far more important, something that eluded me for years, I’m in complete control of my life. To quote my favorite songwriter Steve Earle:
“Right or wrong, win or lose, it’s all up to you”