It all happened in a blink of an eye.  One minute I used to be the one fearlessly zipping my way through tiny little lanes, or zooming in and out of the traffic along notoriously slow motorways (highways, autoroutes, or autobahns to the rest of the world) not entirely reckless you understand,  I just drove with what I liked to call a little panache but before you could say flaming Ada here I was….I’d become the proverbial pain in the patoot.  The backseat driver.

Country Lane

Well, in this case I was in the passenger seat.  I’ve no idea what possessed me to get in the car with Joan, long renowned for demon driving, but here I was. She zigged where I might have zagged and zoomed where even I, fearless driver of old might have hesitated.  I mentioned, only once, okay maybe twice, but oh so politely, that perhaps we should slow down, we weren’t in any hurry.  I did tell you…back seat driver…moi.

We managed to have a little conversation, in between my clenched teeth and indrawn breaths and she was asking about a post I’d written where I mentioned giving your power away.  It didn’t make any sense to Joan, she was always in control of herself.

No sooner were the words out of her mouth when ‘teenage boy with heavy foot’ pulled over in front of us, forcing her to brake violently and curse loudly. She was beside herself.  Teenage boy on the other hand was off and running, swerving in and out of the traffic, becoming a little dot in the distance.

hippies take over oxford circus

Photo has little to do with teenage driving, all right, nothing to do with it, I just liked it!

Joan, demon driver as she was, didn’t resort to cutting in front of people.  That was an unforgivable offence in her book, as she mentioned, over and over and over and over, in language that would make a trooper blush…or is it a sailor?  Never quite sure.  But trust me, her language was on the colourful side.  The whole incident had the distinct advantage of slowing her down to merely ten miles above the speed limit, while she focused her energy and attention on ‘the incident’.

Twenty minutes later she’s still on said topic of said teenage boy with heavy foot, who by this time had probably arrived at his destination, totally oblivious to Joan and her obsession with him.  He simply went on his merry little way, with nary a backward glance or thought about us.  Undoubtedly we weren’t even a blip on his radar.  But Joan had granted him total control of her attention and thoughts and feelings.  Isn’t it amazing how willing we are to hand over control of our lives to people, some of whom don’t even know we exist.

And me…ah…you be the judge!  Giving our power away comes in many guises, not all of them obvious.

Isn’t it a beautiful world?

Encourage each other.

Love Elle.



Tim Suess






Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Elle,

    Yes, yes…We do give our power away to people — I refer to it as allowing people to take control of your life. By obsessing over an event and/or person, as you detailed in your post, we find it hard to realize how we are handing others the power over our own thoughts and feelings — very private things, nonetheless…

    Your post was a great reminder of this phenomenon! Thanks!

  2. An interesting way of describing the blog title Elle. Those country lanes must be devillish to drive along (at speed). Thankyou.
    be good to yourself

  3. Joseph Appaloosa

    You are spot on. All too often, we quickly and willing “give our power ” over to outside parties with the final outcome being that we have impacted ourselves in less than pleasing ways and that the outside parties remain untouched and unchanged. Thank you.
    Write on, Elle !

    • Elle

      Isn’t that the truth Joseph. Of course I never do that…well less and less anyway!

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