If I told you that you were a radiant, amazing, wonderful, miraculous being who has so much more power over your life than you may now realize, would you really believe me?
Having and claiming power over our own lives isn’t easy when we’ve so often been taught, without even realizing it at times, to give our power to virtually everyone and everything around us. Yet, claiming and using our power for good is one of the bravest and most fulfilling ways we can practice living this amazing gift of our lives.
I want to pose some questions for you to consider. Now, before we start, please realize a couple of very important things: There’s no shame to be had here, and my intention is not to judge you in any way.
My intention is to simply invite you to reflect on these questions.
If you can relate to any of them, you’re definitely not alone. The greatest gift I hope to offer you is to help you become more aware of what may be going on under the surface of your own one precious life. :)
So, tell me—do you give your power away in ways you may not even realize?
Do you silence yourself at work if other colleagues all have a similar opinion about something, but you have a different one?
Do you silence yourself at home, even when you feel overworked and overwhelmed? Are you able to ask for help when you could really use some?
Do you rely on the advice of doctors, gurus, TV personalities, or others when it comes to any health issues you may be having, even if any of that advice is not actively helping you to become healthy?
If you’re in a relationship with someone, do you view your roles in the relationship as subservient or not as important as the other person’s roles?
Are you afraid to go against the views or wishes of people in your family or your group of friends, for fear of what they may think of you or say to or about you if you did?
Do you often find yourself seeking out ways to distract or to numb from feeling your real feelings about things that are going on in your life?
Do you feel a desire to engage in drama or conflicts with those around you, even when it seems clear that you won’t be able to change their mind about the issue at hand?
Do you get pulled into the messages of mainstream media, which generally show you how many “bad” people committed crimes or unspeakable atrocities, or which try to provoke your primal fear instincts by getting you involved in nonsensical drama or making you feel fearful?
Is it easy, or maybe even fun, for you to pick at, make fun of, or throw around insults at others, perhaps as a way of offloading any pain in your own life that you may not want to confront?
And...here’s a big one.
Do you engage in a religious, spiritual, non-religious, or non-spiritual belief system which teaches you that you are inherently bad and evil, and therefore your only hope is to be rescued by someone or something else?
Or, do you engage in a belief system which encourages oppression of others in the human race? Does this belief system try to convince you that there is only one belief path to travel (perhaps even your own), and that those who don’t travel that particular path are wrong or to be feared?
Or, do you engage in a belief system which encourages you to limit exploring endless potentials, even if those potentials have not yet been discovered or proven to be true?
If you do engage in any of these belief systems, how do you feel as you engage in them? Do you feel empowered in a way that can also be empowering to anyone else you may encounter in your life? Even those who may not share similar beliefs with you?
Or do you feel that you do it because it’s what you’ve always done, or perhaps you haven’t considered questioning in these ways before? Do you do it because family and friends also do the same? If so, would you continue in these same belief systems if family and friends made different choices?
Again, there’s no shame to be had during this process of reflection. The greatest gift we get from understanding where we are right now is that we become aware of what we are actually doing. It is then that we can take in new information, reflect, learn, and make a different choice, if we so desire.
You may remember that I posed some similar questions in a past reflection centered around authority. That’s because I feel that power and the ideas we often have about authority are so inherently related.
When we look primarily to external sources which we perceive as authority, we can indeed learn so much about our world and how we relate to it.
Yet, if we’re not paying close attention, we can become quite dependent on these sources of external authority—dependent enough that we forget another very, very powerful source of authority: our own.
As we pondered in this more recent reflection, one of the things that I believe people are often the most afraid of is their own greatness. Their own potential. And their own internal authority.
Why am I writing about these topics more frequently? Why should we care?
Why is this so, so important and relevant to our current time and state of events? Here’s why.
If we follow the current news even a little, we are now seeing every day what can happen when large groups of people choose, knowingly or not, to give their power and their authority away to all different external sources. Their minds may not be truly aware that they are doing so, but their hearts still know.
Remember, if we are human, our hearts don’t lie. And neither do theirs.
These people have likely been angry or have felt powerless in different ways for years, yet now, they have found other leaders who don’t mind that they are angry or feel powerless. And they are choosing once again to give their power away to these leaders who they may think will solve all of their problems.
Yet, some of these leaders choose very unhealthy tactics, by furthering the rhetoric and activity of violence and oppression towards others who are blamed for society’s problems.
But many of the people who follow these leaders don’t mind acting violently and oppressively towards others. Or, even if they wouldn’t act that way themselves, they don’t mind if their chosen leader furthers the rhetoric. Why?
Because they’ve likely given up on their own inherent, internal power.
They’ve very likely forgotten their own inherent goodness and internal authority. And likely, they’ve lived in that state for so long that they don’t realize the harm it has caused them.
I’ve come to believe that we can live at our healthiest states of being when we can find a good balance between external authority and that small, quiet voice in our minds and hearts that can be thought of as our internal authority.
Yet, our society currently places an extreme amount of value on external authority, as well as distractions of all kinds, which can lure us away from our internal authority so quickly.
We name them in many ways. “Experts” are a very popular one. Leaders of any kind. Anyone who we take advice from. Anyone who we believe knows more than we do on any particular topic. “Successful” people. Famous people. All sources of media. Technology. Food and drink. Drugs. Greed. And on and on.
Ultimately, I’ve come to learn that our own hearts really know what is best for us at any given time in our lives, as long as we listen carefully within and really discern what our hearts really know and want. And even if later on, we look back at a particular period and see that our hearts led us into some challenging life lessons, eventually we can still come away knowing that we are that much better off for learning them. Even when we feel at our most broken states, we can realize that maybe one of our greatest life lessons is just around the corner, waiting for us to allow it in.
Learning how much life can teach us in each and every situation is just one of the great benefits of becoming more acquainted with our own internal authority. As we tune in more to ourselves each and every day, we can truly learn how to take back our power from all of those other places that we may have unintentionally given it to.
Why does this matter so much?
Because, in the end, if we are given the chance to reflect on our lives, I believe we won’t be hoping that we’d spent more time listening to the evening news or doing only what our family and friends told us to do. In the end, I believe we’ll be asking this question: “What did I make of MY life?”
What did I make of my life? How did I spend my days? Was I true to my heart? What were my greatest lessons? Am I satisfied? Was I able to give back something to others? What do I wish I had done? What do I wish I hadn’t done? Did I learn valuable things from those experiences?
Don’t believe me on this? When you’ve finished this reflection, check out this very honest blog post by bestselling author Bronnie Ware. It’s called “Regrets of the Dying.”
It’s so easy to get swept up into all the distractions that make up life as we know it these days. But that’s why it’s more important now than ever before to take time away from those distractions and even temporarily from those people and activities closest to our hearts.
This is our life, our time to claim our power! There is no other time. The time is now! We may think we have the rest of our lives, yet the rest of our lives could end today. I say this with no intention to provoke fear, but simply to be truthful. If your life were to end today, how would you answer these questions?
I believe in the truth of many paradoxes, especially this one: I believe we are all ultimately connected on deeper levels than we may realize, and the state of health of any one of us can affect any others, or all of us on some level.
At the same time, I also believe this: Your life is yours and yours alone.
You may choose to have other loved ones play huge roles in your life. In fact, I hope that in some way, you have chosen that. And ultimately, your actions can, do, and will affect anyone around you at any given time. But your life is still yours.
Will you choose to claim it as your own? Will you choose to practice balancing all sources of external power, authority, and distractions with that quiet, small voice inside your heart which has so much love and goodness to offer you?
Will you choose to actively live your life?
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I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me a personal note through my Contact page, or leave a comment below. Are there ways you've realized you give your power away? What are some easy steps you can commit to taking in order to claim that amazing power back?
Would you like to better understand more of the power that you really have inside of you? Check out my first book here.
No matter what, always remember this: You are deserving, you are worthy, and you are good enough. Keep being you, keep shining, and keep growing!
With great love,