I have it. You have it.
People (and by “people,” I mean all of us) lose sleep over it, dream of it, conspire to “get” more, exercise it, shy way from it and, in delicious moments of total alignment, use it in all its glory.
What do I mean by power?
Or according to dictionary.com: ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something; a person or thing that possesses or exercises authority or influence; energy, force or momentum
Power is all those things that get stuff done, that allow us to move forward boldly, decisively, confidently, effectively. Power is a fuel that moves you forward in your life. It may go without saying that when you give it away, you have less for yourself.
I don’t believe anyone can take your power. Even in the worst of situations, even if you are in effect “powerless,” I don’t believe it can be taken without you giving it away.
How, when and to whom might you give it away?
• To a boss or manager at work who wants to call all the shots
• To a friend who takes up much of your time and energy for his/her dramas
• To an Ex who remains in old patterns that you’d thought you left behind
• To a client who make demands well beyond the scope of work agreed upon
• To a child who knows how to manipulate and “push your buttons” to get the responses and rewards he/she craves
• To various people in your life who make you their first stop for crises, dramas, dilemmas and challenges
• To anyone in your life whose words, opinions or actions can control you, influence you, stop you in your tracks or move you in any way.
Yes, I have given it away. I’ve been too concerned about protecting someone else, supporting someone, “being there” for someone, making sure someone likes me, busting my you-know-what for a kind word of appreciation or a pat on the head.
I enabled. I supported. I helped. I made sure I was indispensible to people who quite frankly didn’t need, want or deserve it. I did a lot of things in the name of being a nice person, or a great mom/wife/friend/copywriter…all the while forgetting to protect myself and my power.
Really, though, it didn’t matter what the label was. I was giving my power away.
But now….I want it back.
And the cool thing is – it isn’t all that hard to take it back.
You just do it. You gather it from here and there, from this person and that, from this “must do” to that “I have to” and you just bring it back home.
Then you keep it and you build on it and you nurture it and you respect it and you use it. Because it was given to you for that very reason: It is meant to be used.
That’s what I have been doing. Bringing the power back home and making sure its quarters are ready. I’m 86’ing the clutter, the people, the things, the stuff that wasn’t working for me that was draining, taking and sapping my power.
As all of this is happening, over the past week or 10 days, my throat has been sore in a nagging but not overly painful or worrisome way. Hasn’t gotten much better, but not much worse either. I believe our body is talking to us at all times and it is our job to listen. So I looked up “sore throat” and its underlying feeling or emotion.
And wouldn’t you know it, here is what I found:
Holding in angry words. Feeling unable to express the self.
I guess you could say I was angry. I thought I had no power. That is enough to make someone like me angry, or at the very least unexpressed. My voice and my words – they are all I have. They are my power. But I hadn’t been treating them as such.
Those who previously had pieces of my power will now get something different from me: I will send them my compassion and forgiveness and understanding.
But not my regret.
And not my energy.
And certainly not my power.
If you get nothing else from this blog post, here is what I hope you will take to heart:
When and if you keep, protect and nourish your power, you will be able to move mountains.
To change the world.
To be stronger than you ever imagined.
Don’t hold back.
Don’t divide your power.
Don’t pass it out to each outstretched hand you see.
Don’t depend on someone else for your power.
Don’t cede control over your emotions, your feelings, your dreams or your life to another person or situation.
How will you know when you are standing firmly and alone in your power? I can’t tell you what it will feel like for you. I can tell you that you will know. At your core, you will know. It may at times scare the crap out of you. That’s OK. But when you really own it, when you allow it to do its thing, oh how you will soar.
I know that for me, when I am doing or acting or thinking for or from one of these four places, then I am in my power:
If something doesn’t do or bring one of those things to me, then it is not for me.
You’ve got the power, too. And once you figure our where your power lies, what it looks like and what it is meant to do, then it’s time for you to go bring it home and let it work its magic. The world will thank you and I thank you, too.