A quote my father likes to throw around.. "You can either be the cause of everything around you, or you can be the effect."

As of late I have found myself feeling like I am only falling into the latter category.

So, as the title asks: "What do you do when you feel like you have no control of your own life or the world around you?"

[I'm intentionally leaving this question very vague so it can be addressed in a manner that might be more relevant to others with similar troubles.]

asked 12 Jan '12, 04:01

Snow's gravatar image



"As of late I have found myself feeling like I am only falling into the latter category"

“This, too, will pass.” ― Eckhart Tolle

Actually, I think you would benefit from reading the Power of Now and A New Earth by Tolle.

(13 Jan '12, 03:52) ele
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There is a prayer that goes something like this:

God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

If you look at your life carefully, you will see that there are some things that you do have control over: What time you wake up. Whether you drink coffee or tea with breakfast. Whether to shower or take a bath. And so on. There are very few people that do not have some say in how their day goes.

Notice that the prayer asks for serenity to accept- not to just accept, but to have serenity to accept what cannot be changed. This is the goal: to be serene about those things over which you do not have control. You have more control than you perceive that you have. Embrace that control, and take charge of what you can.

The next part asks for courage to change what you can. This, too, requires some effort. If some parts of your life are out of control, then take steps to get them under control. Let us say that you are enormously in debt. It does not help to ignore it. Open the phone book, call for help, call your creditors, call a lawyer...do something! If there is a person in your life who drives you buggy, give that person to God, get out of his or her way, and let go. Stop being a victim.

The third part is in deciding what you can change and what you cannot. Pray for guidance, and yes, wisdom.

Use this prayer and you will see that you have many more choices about your life than you thought you did.

Good luck. Pray, pray, pray!




answered 12 Jan '12, 09:49

Jaianniah's gravatar image


Curious question, were you responding to something I posted on Facebook recently [totally fine and acceptable] or just being uncannily.. 'directed'?

@Praying: I stopped praying when I was a kid because I never got a response.. I figured God didn't want to talk to me, and so I haven't really tried since. These days I will meditate on a topic, seek guidance from others, etc.. When I see or hear something that 'speaks' to me, I feel it, it feels right to me, and that's what I go with. If I could get God to talk to me directly.. I really don't know what I'd do with myself.

(12 Jan '12, 17:26) Snow

Though I personally don't like the idea of praying, I've given weirder things a shot before. I don't see why I shouldn't try this again.

Nevertheless: Your response is very.. uncanny.. that it addresses things that have been troubling me for quite some time now. Uncanny in a very good way, just.. Surprising. Hence asking if you had gotten extra inspiration from my facebook page.

(12 Jan '12, 17:27) Snow

Thank you for posting this, Jai.

"Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference -- Reinhold Niebuhr.

Many people attribute the Serenity Prayer, which AA uses in their 12 step program to St Francis of Assisi; which is incorrect. The Serenity Prayer is my favorite mantra. Try reciting it over and over, Snow.

(13 Jan '12, 03:10) ele

Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; when there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that I may not so much seek
 to be consoled as to console;
 to be understood, as to understand,
 to be loved as to love;
 for it is in giving that we receive,
 it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
 and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(13 Jan '12, 03:12) ele

Snow - better yet, listen to Dr. Wayne Dyer's daughter, Skye Dyer sing her "version" of the Peace Prayer - over and over (which is very controversial to Catholic hierarchy) You can hear her sing and then recite her variation on his audio book - Power of Intention; which I also think may be beneficial to you.

(13 Jan '12, 03:16) ele
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If I felt that way, I would start, immediately, making more proactive decisions about my life. My confidence would grow with each good decision. And I would also work on trying to get back into the vortex by doing things I like to do: being with uplifting people, seeing good movies, listening to music I like, re-arranging my living space, getting outdoors for some exercise, perhaps doing some volunteer work.... it would be my job to get back to feeling good again! These are good ways to turn things back around.


answered 12 Jan '12, 09:17

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

Then I should try to get back into the feeling of "I have control over the life or the world around me", or nothing that I do will probably ever help at all.


answered 12 Jan '12, 07:41

kakaboo's gravatar image


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