What the hell is your power? (A story about getting schooled in front of 150 people.)
In front of 150 people, at one of those 40-hour marathon, personal empowerment, “none-of-this-is-real seminars”, I admitted to being entangled in a toxic, three-way relationship, that had been going on for two years.
After the lead facilitator heard my “dilemma” he said, “Maybe your issue is that you are playing small in your life – you need to give away your power.”
Ummm, thank you, yes that makes sense! And I have no clue what you mean?
I understood that I was in a small relationship, totally undeserving of my worth, with a man who couldn’t figure out what he wanted.
I understood that I was hiding in my life because I wanted to be like everybody else (I don’t blend in, I am a 5’8″ muscled up redhead), but I had no clue what my power was? And if I knew what this “power” thing was, how the heck do I give my power away?
Massive amounts of healing later, (not so much in time as in intention and attention) I figured it out. . .
I was powerless because I was looking in all the wrong places for my validity, worth, and love in the world. (Read, recovering codependent.)
I was playing small because I thought self-abandonment was unconditional love. (Read, a lovely side effect of codependency: people pleasing.)
I was confused because I thought “love” equaled proving myself to someone so they would love me “right” even if it caused pain. (Read, a nasty little side effect of abandonment wounds: we abandon ourselves to avoid being abandoned.)
A hundred a-ha moments later, I saw that I didn’t believe I was inherently worthy, amazing, and lovable on a feeling level.
I was steeped in personal empowerment and pop-psychology concepts like, “We already are love”, “I am worthy, lovable, and perfectly imperfect”, but had no idea how to live my life from that wholeness.
I had the all the right education and tools, but it was all on a conceptual level. I couldn’t live it, feel it, breathe it. As a result, I was unconsciously creating circumstances which mirrored back to me my self-love gaps.
You can only feel, give, and receive love to the extent that you’ve been able to cultivate an intimate relationship with yourself.
The same holds true for power – you can only empower others if you are empowered yourself.
No one is empowered if they are trying to be someone they aren’t naturally. No one is in their power if they see themselves as victims of life’s circumstances and other people’s behavior.
When we see how we are the co-creator of our lives: how we make choices that allow certain situations; how our internal beliefs keep certain patterns and triggers showing up; how our emotional bodies are energetic matches for the exact soul lessons we need — then we have access to power. We can then choose to make a course correction, shift, or higher level choice next time.
Personal power comes from a place outside of thought: we FEEL and KNOW (not merely think about) our worth, our value, our love, and our okayness in the world, and as a result move naturally from that wholeness.
We have to honor our impulses to be seen, heard, and loved with reciprocal kindness and respect.
We have to show up for all parts of Self, including our messy humanity. (Don’t make them illusory, or “not real.”)
We have to believe we are enough now, but still have a willingness to grow into a more expanded, loving, version of ourselves.
If you are afraid of taking up space or are ashamed of your deepest desires — you are playing small and not in your power.
When you abandon your sacred heart, your body, your core values, you are playing small and not in your power.
When you hold on to your natural gifts for fear that the world won’t like them, you are playing small and not in your power.
This kind of playing small and codependent contorting is exactly how we cut ourselves off from feeling our power.
When I realized that underneath my playing small was a lack of self-love and as a result, you guessed it. . . personal power, I understood why I couldn’t give it away.
So my job was to then discover all the wounds, fears, and beliefs that kept me from trusting my Truth and Knowing, and then show compassion for those very real parts of me that had never been heard. As I showed love for my shame and fear and limiting beliefs, I began to find strength and the inner resourcefulness I needed to move more in alignment with my heart and values.
When we aren’t giving from a deep trust in our Truth, we are actually grasping, manipulating, and chasing – which is vampirism, neediness, and co-dependence.
This sends a confusing message to the universe — we want to get something from outside people, relationships, and circumstances to feel safe, loved, and worthy, when actually it’s our job to seek and find all the barriers from within that prevent us from accessing it.
Because of our internal emotional and energetic state of lack, or not enoughness, we will not only attract small and dis-empowering circumstances but will attract the same lessons over and over again. Not as punishment, but as an opportunity and higher directive: can we choose to connect to the purity of love within ourselves.
So stand up for your deepest heart’s desires, values, standards, and beliefs. Stake your claim. Love your weirdness. Hold your tender humanity with reverence and compassion. Take radical responsibility for knowing and loving yourself deeply and intimately.
All Love. All Truth.
Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coachMy commitment is to be as human with you as is humanly possible, over the internet as I breakdown overly simplistic, reductive, self-help, and empowerment teachings. Join me for monthly updates, stock my social meanderings, and come be a part of the most bad ass, non-new-agey, real-life, private Facebook group as I give weekly sermons on realtionships, self-love, and self-awareness. I believe in original goodness, the simplicity and clarity of truth, the liberation of personal respsonsibility, and the endless healing of love. I can’t wait to see you.