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Hello lovely readers!

You all look so wonderful at a distance. Let’s just keep it that way!

Someone, very special to me, recently asked me a question that hasn’t settled in any corner of my mind. Now you may think, the brain is a semi-roundish contraption, and the mind is an abstraction, so where are the corners?

Oh God!

Could you overlook that? I’m simply speaking metaphorically.

Now where was I?

This question wasn’t a passing thought. It had to do with certain issues and circumstances I have and will be facing. It’s a question not limited to me. You could very well be answering this and have dealt with it in the past. But brushed it off and turned your mind towards more pressing matters.

Am I rambling? Do you wish to know what it is?

Drumroll please. There’s no excitement without a bit of drama.

A drummer wearing sunglasses and playing a drum set.
Image Source: Snappa

And the question is:

Do you feel POWERLESS?

When I heard it, I secretly wished I hadn’t. My ensuing silence couldn’t cover for my discomfort, and it surely conveyed my confusion regarding the subject. The word POWERLESS made me feel so weak and insignificant.

It wasn’t a blow to my ego (that monster has a mind of its own), but a sudden poke to my heart which sent nervous signals to my brain.

Beneath that tough exterior I have fought so hard to maintain, there’s a tiny light bulb that flickers on and off, a disrupted power supply could be the culprit to blame. No, I don’t have electricity coursing through my veins.

Though I wish I could zap a few people if that were the case.

A black and white image of a man with smoke encircling him
Image Source: Snappa

This power is in my conscious and the subconscious, a fusion of my contemplations, decisions, actions, and the plentiful regrets that threaten to wreck my carefully built-up persona.

You may be wondering what was my answer to this? I never mince my words. It’s an insult to me, personally and as a writer.

So I blurted out strong words, somewhat the truth, but could easily brand me a liar.

No. I don’t feel powerless.

But yes, I drift through it like a cloud whipped around by the wind.

I then thought and continue to think to this day, how I measure myself upon this sensitive scale. What does power mean to me? Is it physical, mental, or spiritual? Maybe a cocktail of all three.

Two sips and I’m dancing to the tune of all my failures. Pain can be heady and liberating.

A woman in a tank top laughing and dancing with her arms raised above her head
Image Source: Snappa

I have felt powerless on numerous occasions, and I attribute this not to my weakness, but to the boldness of trying to be strong and fearless. And two shady characters always manage to pop up, their ‘goody two shoes natures’ exempting them from any wrongdoing.

You know them well. They are the friends you hate to deal with.

ACCEPTANCE and TOLERANCE.

These rascals are the reasons for my power outages. The slip from being in control to plain, painful helplessness.

Oh! You say both are positive qualities meant to be uplifting.

Do me a favor! And slap yourself. Hard!

A man with his palm pressed against his face after being slapped by a woman who’s glaring at him
Image Source: Snappa

What a bucket load of crap. Don’t tell me that you’ve been accepting and tolerant with a skip in your step and a fruity smile on your face. And if that’s the case, maybe the angels from heaven have descended and it’s time to say our last grace.

Acceptance and tolerance are looked upon as virtues. But practicing them is a hell of a job! Their basic natures lie open like muddy pits. And you can’t escape falling into them and climbing out without copious amounts of dirt and grime clinging to you. The stains sometimes never wash away.

And these past years (one too many) have been an open struggle with the saints of positivity. The acceptance of decisions and outcomes, and the tolerance of circumstances and situations. And believe me, no amount of practice makes either any easier.

It’s a regular rise and fall, and the bruises are deep and dark every time.

There’s no background crescendo or beautiful sunset to ride into.
A distraught woman with messy makeup sitting with her head down upon her outstretched arm on a table
Image Source: Snappa

It’s a rhythmic pattern of going against one’s will to tide over uncontrollable and uncomfortable life conditions.

Why so tough?

Because such instances aren’t simply limited to one individual. They involve others and their specific messes, their actions and decisions, and their own muddy pits and consequential learnings.

Look at it as a chain with many links. The power doesn’t lie in only one link. It’s dependent on the entire chain and the will to stay bound together.

So, unless you’re an odd one out, an independent link with no further connections, you will feel powerless on not one but many occasions. And the associated weight of this presumptuous sin will weigh upon you, quickening your breath, sinking your heart, instilling the dread of hopelessness and meekness.

But do not fear! No, Superman isn’t here. Seriously?!

A Lego figurine of Superman with an angry expression
Image Source: Snappa

This feeling of being powerless is a sign of dealing and eventual healing. You will fall and it will hurt. The tears will come (some less, some more), and you will howl in agony. But for how long? There’s a limit to wallowing in misery.

And then you will take the first step. Humongous!

Accept it. Tolerate it. And from this you will carve a new path or turn in a new direction. It may be in agreement or downright rejection. Acceptance and tolerance do not have to be obstructions. They are openings to a new realm, a different way of thinking.

I see that glare in your eye. My gut tells me I know what you’re thinking.

What if accepting and tolerating is out of the question? Then my dear Watson that again is a form of acceptance. Not choosing to conform or abide by the settings around you, and taking the higher or more winding road to a preferable destination, mentally or physically, is your basic right.

The choice will always be yours.

And that’s when that tiny light bulb will glow like the sun in an indigo sky. And you will feel the power returning. It could be a surge or tiny sputters, but the current will get you going. Don’t fight it. Some battles are never meant to be started.

If you have felt powerless, then congratulations to you!

(Handshakes and cheek to cheek kisses — Muah! Muah!)

Two hands shaking with each other, one brown and the other black
Image Source: Snappa

You are a hero! (No offence to any gender)

For power only comes to those who have felt it slip away. Practicing acceptance and tolerance while initiating diversified thinking. Because the mind is what you want to make it and the heart is a slippery but eager assistant.

I have been powerless. I will be again. But I will enjoy the power that I have gained in between these episodes of darkness.

Charge those batteries. The next power cut may be around the corner. But the gloom will never remain.

Thank you. More power to you!


You’ve been trying to live an ideal life for too long. STOP! Kick the ‘I’ out of Ideal and just Deal with Life!

Go on! Check out my Short Stories Books – Free on Kindle Unlimited
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25 Comments on “Acceptance and Tolerance and the Sin of Being Powerless

  1. What an excellent post. I do so love your writing, Terveen. Your blend of humor with this topic, in particular, was a joy to read. And, I do agree. We all have, and will again, feel powerless. For me, it’s important to be aware of these feelings, well, all of them, in fact, and then to notice what’s causing such feelings, acknowledge them, go into them, work through them, and let them go. Knowing they will arise again… Yep, long process, the human process, that is, yet soooo worth it. 😊😊 Wonderful post!! 😊😊

    • Thanks so much, Jeff! I feel humor makes things easier. Even a serious issue can be appropriately lightened with a slight hue of satire. Isn’t life tough enough to deal with? And writing about issues that we all dread to deal with can be brightened with those out of the blue remarks and candid reactions. After all, we may be silent but our minds never stop talking.
      I’m so glad that you deal with being powerless and accept the reasons behind it instead of fighting it. It’s a brave and tedious task, but the results are amazing. I wish you well in all your life endeavors. ‘Powerless’ is nothing to be ashamed of. 🙂

          • I have my own reasons why they don’t/can’t…….what will other people say? they’ll think I’m silly……I’m of the age I don’t care anymore what others think. I just wanna have some fun before I die…like Sheryl C…..

          • That’s the best way, Don. Live free. And be who you want to be. Just don’t step on too many toes. Others deserve the same liberty and respect. I think that’s important.

      • You’re most welcome, Terveen! Indeed, humor does, and your’s is exceptional. 😊😊 Writing about them is helpful, and agreed about the mind. Agreed, powerlessness is nothing to be ashamed of…another emotional, that’s all…Have a fantastic weekend, my friend. 🤗

  2. We all feel powerless in some areas. But make sure there are some areas of your life where you feel in control and “powerful”.
    Love you humor sprinkled all over the post.

    • That is so true! Can’t let those areas be engulfed by darkness. There’s always some aspect that is our domain and we glide along relatively smoothly in it.
      I like your positive perspective. And the humor is a fun add-on. Much needed.
      Thank you so much! 🙂

  3. True powerlessness is not being able to find the right words, without resorting to cheap humor, to express how I feel as you serve up a stunning array of thought-provoking and sometimes humorous literary curveballs with each post.

    Okay, maybe one more joke…

    A Bishop had been arrested for failing to stop the sexual misconduct happening directly in front of him. He claimed he was powerless to stop it because he could only move diagonally. #DadJoke #ChessJoke

    …but no more after this, I promise.

    Right on! (as we used to say back in the day) and Write on!

    • Lol!
      I start laughing even before I read the joke. Such is the power of your satire. You’re always two moves ahead and ready to say ‘checkmate’. I graciously accept defeat every time.
      And the jokes are funny, or maybe I’ve got a ticklish tummy. But please keep sharing them. I know you want to.
      Right on! And appreciate your constant support. 🙂

    • Very true, Hal. But sometimes letting go of it ensures that the return is better and stronger. Thanks a lot! Good to see you here. 🙂

  4. Acceptance and tolerance always comes with a price. In a genuine person, it rarely matters. I have always thought it best to disassociate myself from those I have to prove myself to. There is always that thought at the back of the mind that people are diverse and you just cannot expect them to conform to all your ways and thinking. It definitely augurs well to let go of people or emotions that hinder your progress. As long as you know right from wrong, there will come the right time for acceptance and tolerance.
    I love this post because it speaks about and to me in so may levels.

    • Thank you so much, Shobana. It’s futile to be a people pleaser. There’s nothing to gain from it and everything to lose. And I agree that each one of us have our own set of circumstances and situations that are incomparable. So, live and let live, and hope to create understanding and harmony instead of molding others opinions. I’m so glad you’ve made your peace with this. 🙂

  5. Reading this, I thought of The Flaming Lips and their song, “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song.”
    “With all your power
    What would you do?”
    It’s sad to see what so many do with it.

  6. An amazing piece of writing. This isn’t an easy topic to write, leave alone make it gripping. Really enjoyed reading this one

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