Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Feeling powerless

The doctors are telling my girlfriend that the treatment of her tumor is doing very well as it’s still shrinking rapidly and even beyond expectation. However, I only feel, hear and see that her pain is increasing, almost on a daily basis. I like to be in control but I cannot do much to help her. This results in feeling powerless, which also puts my romantic feelings to a minimum.

“Control is an important aspect of our psychological well-being. Many of the most frustrating situations in life involve cases where events are happening around you, and you have no say in how they turn out. Patients suffering from significant illnesses must come to grips with the lack of control they have over their disease.” (HuffPost-2011)

Essentially, there are 2 ways of control: Power and Choice. Psychological Science, 2011: “Power and choice represent two fundamental forces that govern human behavior. Scholars have largely treated power as an interpersonal construct involving control over other individuals, whereas choice has largely been treated as an intrapersonal construct that concerns the ability to select a preferred course of action.”

In my situation, I don’t have the Power to improve my girlfriend’s situation as I’m not an oncologist. I do have a Choice, whether to stay and be supportive – or break-up and go. It almost feels like an evolutionary “fight or flight” response. At times, my response feels like a “freeze“.

Psychotherapist: “When you feel powerless, you feel afraid to express your needs because you fear (often rightly) that what little you have will be taken from you. You may have learned powerlessness if you were kept in powerless positions repeatedly and/or over long periods of time (possibly during childhood) by those who used external forces (money, physical strength, legal status, and/or military force) to control you. [] You become immobilized.”

Hence, feeling powerless is a mindset and – to some extent – even a (temporary) belief. The 1st step in solving this mindset – or belief – is surprisingly simple: emotional detox by speaking up. Feel free reading the other 2 steps in Tiny Buddha’s advice.

The most important piece of advice is perhaps the serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971), American theologian:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”

The Power of Love (1984) by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

The power of love

A force from above

Cleaning my soul

Flame on, burn desire

Love with tongues of fire

Purge the soul

Make love your goal

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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