The subject of personal power has been coming up so strongly lately. Woman power. How to handle bullies. Black vs White power. Everywhere I turn, power is the theme. My hands literally hurt from typing on my phone as I respond to people asking my thoughts on power. So, here’s my experience.
This is me when I felt powerless. When I was shoulder deep in giving my power away.
When I believed that someone was taking it from me. When I blamed and shamed and cried and played victim because I hated my life and being powerless. I look awful. Unhappy. Lifeless…and that is exactly how I felt.
POWER IS NOT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE TAKEN AWAY.
I was giving it away! To my ex husband who was abusive. To my kids who would beat me up because they didn’t have the skills to communicate. To friends who would take in friendships and never give. To family who talked to me like I didn’t matter. To men who made sexual advances and women who called me slut. And how did I give it away? I never did anything. I never said anything. I believed I deserved it, while crying about how unfair it was later to someone else…feeling powerless to change it.
I would feel like I’d hurt their feelings if I said something, so I shouldn’t. They were family, or friends, so it wouldn’t be polite. Or their feelings mattered more than mine, so it was ok…I could just choke back my feelings, again. I would justify the abuse from my ex because he’d had a bad childhood so there was a reason for it and he said he didn’t mean it so that must be true. Or the best one…I didn’t want to be mean.
I found all kinds of ways to let it all slide. But it made me feel gross. Like a door mat. Why were other women having amazing marriages and great relationships with their kids and family and I wasn’t? Jealous face here.
YOU CAN’T EXPECT TO BE TREATED POWERFUL IF YOUR THINKING IS POWERLESS.
Power has gotten a bad wrap. Boundaries have too. But man, are they healthy. Bending yourself to what someone else wants you to be, is so, not. Doing it because you don’t want to appear a certain way or feel a certain way, sucks. The English language is huge. And hello compassion! You can say what you need and how you feel without being a big a-hole, right? If someone gets offended and I know I’ve been kind and compassionate, that’s their internal battle they are dealing with. Not mine.
So here’s what I really had to do. I had to figure out why I thought it was ok to hand my power over. Why I thought I had none to begin with. Why did I think I was less than everyone else? I mean really! What had me shrinking from accepting my massively awesome place on this planet?
So many things. Like whoa. It took me a while to get through them all. Story by crazy a$$ story, I worked through all of the limiting beliefs I had about myself that told me I was powerless. That a man, or family or kids or anyone other than me, came before ME. And that thinking of myself was selfish. It’s not. It’s being powerful babe. And there is nothing wrong with a bright, powerful human being.
CHANGING YOUR INTERNAL THINKING, CHANGES YOUR EXTERNAL WORLD.
Once I became more powerful in myself, my whole life began to shift. Drastically. It was easier to know myself. Easier to draw clear boundaries and not be upset if someone didn’t like them or couldn’t meet them. And to have compassion for them if they were having a hard time with the new me. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Seeing people react negatively to you when you are feeling more positively about yourself can be hard. But having compassion for the fact that they will now have the choice to do some work can make it easier.
The more I have worked on coming back to myself and my internal power, the more my life has gotten in line with how I want it to be. Inner strength equals outer alignment. I now know that if I am feeling powerless in any given situation, it is because I have a limiting belief around it. I quickly work to shift that and then real breakthroughs happen. I don’t have to depend on some force outside myself to make me powerful. I am powerful.
POWER IS PERSONAL.
Making the choice to take back my power changed a great many things in my life. Seeing all the places I was giving it away was eye opening. Being able to model that for my kids has been incredibly helpful when they have come home with bully issues. Allowing them the space to feel the hurt, because people can say some mean stuff…and then empowering them to do the inner work so they don’t feel powerless to shift the situation. So they will know what is right to do for them, because they feel solid in themselves…feels amazing. I have some great lil dudes around me.
Each person views power differently. For some it is quiet. For others, they use it to inspire. Sometimes, power gets a bit too powerful and goes on the attack. We take back our power and then use it against those we believe took it from us. This hurts my heart. It is my hope that we learn to nurture the power with in us and then spread that out into the world. By doing so, we can create real change. Less hate, more love.
Personal power that is used to punish and dominate is how we get imbalance. Bullies. War. Hate crimes. Personal power that is used to uplift is how we find peace. Connection.
This is me today. Strong in my self and knowing that I am a powerful woman. Not better than anyone, not less than anyone. Equal to all. Just the way I like it.
With inner power like that…no one else’s opinion of me matters. Just my own. No one can take that from me now. I’ve found it and I’m keeping it. I encourage you to ask yourself what power means to you.
All the love,