It is often quoted,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
I don’t know about you but I certainly relate to this quote. I have often felt that that I am somehow ambivalent about my power. Wanting to take it up yet sometimes fearing and even rejecting it. I continue to work daily to rid myself of this ambivalence and to take up and use my power but often still find myself held back. I’ve been meditating on this notion of power and my attitude toward it for some time and as I figure I can’t be alone in this quest I’ve decided to share my thoughts on this problem and some possible solutions with you and hope to get your comments and feedback.
When I started musing on this the logical first question was WHAT IS POWER (in the context of personal power)? Because of my ambivalence the next question that came up for me was WHY DO WE DENY OUR POWER? There are many reasons for this, mostly driven by fear. I went on to think about things that DRAIN and LEACH our power and finally with an eye toward a solution I contemplated how we get and then maintain this power. I’ve captured my answers, thus far to these questions below in bullet form and would really love your comments (especially as this post is a stub for a larger article that I’m working on).
- Energy needed to live our Vision of Success
- Energy needed to take care of ones self and well- being
- Energy used to protect Self and to set boundaries around anything not in accordance with self-love and that stands in the way of living your Vision
- Self-love borne out of the knowledge of who we TRULY are.
- Responsibility to determine our own happiness and attitude and to not be a victim
Why we deny and/or give our power away…
- Fear of it-There are many sources of this but a common fear is that we will be unloved or rejected if we are powerful. This may be especially germane to women due to gender role expectations
- Doubt- We may doubt our ability to do what we need to do to succeed at living our Vision
- Don’t want responsibility-We may be lazy and fear the responsibility and work that comes with using our power
- Fear of failure
Things that leach or drain our power…
- Being in relationships with negative people and people who do not affirm us and our visions
- Tired messages about who should be powerful i.e. not women
- Abuse by others
- Anger/Resentment and holding on to the past
- Psychological illnesses like depression and anxiety
We get our Power by…
- Being connected and in relationship to our Higher Power (I personally do this well in nature).
- Affirming people –being in relationship with positive people who affirm us and our Vision of Success
- Prayer/meditation-asking for it and being willing to be guided by the Source of all Power
We Cultivate and Maintain our Power by…
- Continually strengthening our relationship with a Higher Power
- Sharing our power, gifts and talents with others
- Staying in communion with positive people
So, these are my thoughts on power. I’d love your comments and feedback. What does power mean to you? If you are ambivalent about it, why? In what ways do you give it away and what leaches it? Where do you get your power and how do you maintain it?
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