Floating Houseboat

In her memoir  – A Three Dog Life – Abigail Thomas recounts the heart-twisting process of weaving a new life after her husband sustains a whopping traumatic braining injury, causing his personality to undergo dramatic, irreversible changes.

About “control”, Thomas muses:

“I was on a small island once, in the middle of a great big lake, mountains all over the place, and as I watched the floating dock the winds kicked up, the waves rose from nowhere, and I imagined myself lying there and the dock suddenly breaking loose, carried away by the storm.  I wondered if I could lie still and enjoy the sensation of rocking, after all I wouldn’t be dead yet, I wouldn’t be drowning, just carried off somewhere that wasn’t part of my plan.  The very thought of it gave me the shivers.  Still, how great to be enjoying the ride, however uncertain the outcome.  I’d like that.  It’s what we’re all doing anyway, we just don’t know it.”

Ultimately, she concludes:

“…now I know I can control my tongue, my temper, and my appetites, but that’s it.  I have no effect on weather, traffic, or luck.  I can’t make good things happen.  I can’t keep anybody safe.  I can’t influence the future and I can’t fix up the past.

What a relief.”

Here’s  a personal reflection for you to consider this week:

What are the ways that you hold on?  Do they bring you happiness or suffering?  Is control an illusion?  Would you find relief in letting go?  And just exactly how will you get to letting go?

Thomas’ words struck me deeply.  In particular, all the ways I want to protect and keep others safe, when, in reality, I have little if any control.  How do these thoughts impact you?

Thank you so much for reading and sharing.  If you found this article inspiring, please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love,  Sandra

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