We talk very little about power. Perhaps because we have different ideas of what power is and means to us or perhaps we don’t understand it all that well.
I would like to share my view of what power means to me and how I understand it. How the very word keeps changing it’s meaning as I mature.
When I was a little girl growing up in Eastern Europe power was associated with people of authority; that is all the adults in my immediate surroundings and those on media. As a result of my upbringing in a rather dramatic household I realized that being dramatic gets the attention and that in turn gets your voice heard. Early on I established a strong sense of self-confidence, will and personal strength. In many ways those were my survival tools and ways I got to be heard. I remember being fascinated with my father telling a story and how he used his will to communicate everything with such passion it was nearly frightening. I associated yelling and shouting with power and authority. I thought that if I am screaming loud enough about my ideas I will be heard and respected.
Later in life, as a young adult living in Western Europe and in the United States I found a different meaning of power. This time it was linked to money. I had none. I earned my living by cleaning and babysitting for well educated and well off people. In many ways I wanted to be like them because their lives seemed to have a purpose, they had respect, they were part of society that made a difference in the world, or perhaps that was just a creation of my imagination. I associated power with money…and if you had none you had no power. End of story. From the time perspective, I see how I was lost in wanting to become somebody, to change my life. I created illusions looking for things in the future which were supposed to change me and my world. I wanted to be somebody, have a title, have respect, have love. Everything was externalized as if I was supposed to fall into my perfect world on one perfect Spring morning.
I will fast forward to now because in the recent couple of years the meaning of power has changed for me again. This time it is linked directly to me. I have spent time in meditation, self reflection and reflection on global issues, I have gone through rough times of depression, self doubt but also revelations and realizations that have cleared the view of power. I realized that among other things we have in common with each other is the will to be ‘on path’. To feel we are doing the right thing, to feel connected to the world in meaningful ways, to contribute to society, to help one another but also to feel that we are personally on the right track with relationships as a parent, spouse, friend and in our jobs. We keep looking into the future and into the past for clues, tools and signs of confirmation that we are ‘on path’.
The irony is that we have never gone off path to begin with. The path is exactly where we are now, at this moment. We can never take a break from life, we are always moving forward no matter what is happening in our lives. Someone dear to us dies…but we soon realize that the world doesn’t know it, it moves along as if nothing happened! The world doesn’t stop for anybody. Once I deeply understood that fact I also understood the meaning of power. Power is us. We create our path in a way that it can never be truly predicted. Trust in yourself and the flow of life are the best two tools I recently discovered. It helps tremendously to open yourself up to true potential, to your deepest desires. Acknowledging the power in yourself and accepting it as a fact is hard because we are programmed to associate power with money and connections. Does that mean we can’t make a difference with our confidence, feeling worthy, our values and strong will? Does that count for nothing? I think that is the real power. Accepting our current life circumstances as our true path will either take a load off of our shoulders or motivate us to change it. Either way it is ours to behold. We are meant to experience a whole spectrum of circumstances in order to discover our inner power. Power to create and destroy the same. Once we tap into that we can truly make a permanent difference in the world. World hunger, poverty, destruction of our planet are only few man made creations that can be undone, restored and preserved just the same as they were destroyed. I humbly encourage all of us to start raising above the status quo. Start looking into our hearts, tapping into our inner power, our truth, looking for clues in the now. To learn our life lessons and discover ideas how together we can make the world a better place.