We all need to feel like we have some control over our lives.
However, life and circumstance can and will throw situations our way that change our plans. And this can make us feel so powerless, angry, confused, depressed and anxious.
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
— John Lennon
It’s good to plan for the future, our relationships, set budgets, plan for big expenditures, plan trips, careers, education and more.
But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.
Despite all those well-laid plans, events, illnesses, or even other people’s choices can and will change some of these plans. Many times these challenges will only delay our plans, but sometimes they change them forever.
Resiliency is the ability to bend with those changes. Resiliency is defined as:
The ability to recover quickly from depression or discouragement. The ability to spring back.
This springing back, either to your original state — or to a stronger, more evolved state is part of being resilient.
I wrote about resilience here and how to cultivate it:
Being resilient is a way to claim your personal power.
What is Personal Power?
First off — what it isn’t:
Power is not Force.
Power is not abuse or violence.
Power is not control.
Many confuse personal power with control. It isn’t that, ever. So what is it?
Personal power is:
*Faith in oneself.
*Faith in a higher power or energy or universe or God — whatever you believe. And that you have this with you always.
*Having the courage to have your own opinions and have the strength necessary to express and maintain them.
*The ability to look within and examine your own life, actions, thoughts and the consequences of them. In short — can you stop blaming others?
*The courage to be yourself — your appearance, your desires, your own sense of sexuality and safety; and the image you project to the world.
*Being able to maintaining your principles, values, dignity and faith — without draining your energy.
And most importantly,
*The ability to choose your response to challenges and trials that come your way.
Viktor Frankl, author of the great Man’s Search For Meaning stated it best:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Choosing our attitude then is always part of our personal power.
As Viktor says, EVERYthing can be taken away. People can die, people can get serious illnesses or disabilities, people can cheat on you and leave you, jobs can end, money and possessions can be lost and more — but we always have the choice on how we REACT to these circumstances.
Your attitude, your reactions are your key to your personal power.
Working on developing positive, life-affirming reactions to times of stress will help lessen the depression, anxiety, and confusion that comes in these times of trouble.
Of course, we won’t be perfect.
The first step is to be aware of your knee-jerk reactions. Then work on putting a pause between the event and the reaction.
Over time we can lengthen that pause.
Or change our reaction.
This is the work of a lifetime. And working on this — not achieving perfection— but being on the path of reclaiming and owning our own power — owning our reactions and attitudes— will lead us back to peace.
Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.
— Dale Carnegie
Love and Blessings,