A Story of Personal Power

She used to have very different thoughts about Power than she does now.

Whenever she heard the word before, she felt a little tightness — especially in her throat. Visions of people over-stepping and taking action at the cost of others were what she associated with power.

Now, when she thinks of Power, the first thing that comes to mind is Personal Power and the way she uses her own.

The first step in this shift (it was definitely a process) came when she discovered Mr. Loyal Judge. She named him this once she became aware that she had been relying on this ‘voice’ for a very long time.

She could even picture his energy — she got the image of this huge bird up in a tree, squawking and barking out what he wanted her to do.

When she started exploring the Loyal Judge and the role he had been playing in her life, she saw how much of her power she was giving away to him.

It was almost as if she hadn’t learned to really go inside to listen to what was right. Instead, she relied on external sources — like what her parents said, her siblings, her friends, people in society around her.

And she developed the Loyal Judge who would look at her every move with a “That’s not what you’re supposed to do” or a list of ‘shoulds’ to follow.

Once she realized he was there, she noticed how confusing it was. She noticed how she lost touch with what SHE wanted when she listened to the Judge.

She noticed that things felt constricted and REstricted in her body and she was always afraid of doing something ‘wrong’ — of making a mistake.

She often felt powerless as a result.

As she was understanding more and more about the Loyal Judge and the power she had given him, she realized she didn’t need him at all.

She realized all she needed was to listen to herself.

This was a HUGE realization and one that felt a little confusing and scary in the beginning.

The first thing she did was to write Mr. Loyal Judge a loving letter dismissing him of his duties.

She started with, You’ve been around for a really long time. Thank you for that. Thank you for trying to take care of me the best you could. It was no easy task. She continued… No easy task because NO ONE knows better about me than me. And that led to us fighting sometimes. I’d go IN and listen to myself, but then I’d go OUT and ask you because I thought you knew what was right. But for me to be accountable and responsible, I MUST go IN and see what I think and what I feel. No one out there can tell me more about me or about what is best for me than me. Not even you.

So I’m ready now to listen to myself//to rely on myself and BE RESPONSIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE and TO TAKE OWNERSHIP for my own decisions and to take my power back. That means I‘m going to take a break from your services for a while and so I’m sending you on a WELL-DESERVED vacation. If it goes well, it might be time for you to retire, actually.

Months later she re-read the letter and smiled.

Yes, there had been times, especially in the beginning, that she had reverted back to old behaviors and had forgotten to listen to herself.

But she saw this quickly and then shifted to the new behavior of going inside and truly listening.

When she thought about this she felt liberated and powerful.

And with this feeling of personal power, she felt peaceful, expansive, grounded and whole.

Mood Lady images drawn by Debra Valentino.
A collection of Mood Lady Stories is available for purchase. A digital version is coming soon.