In the first part of this article, we discussed approaches to maintaining our personal power in confrontation with skeptics. In the second part of this article, we will examine personal power on a much more personal level.
Most of us live out our lives in a state of imbalance of personal power. Those of us who are acutely focused on our spiritual paths often suffer from a lack of personal power, and those of us who are driven by the material world often suffer from a surplus of personal power. Finding the balance can be a life-long practice.
Those of us who are committed to our paths can be prone to giving our power away in so many ways. Not only does this throw our spiritual balance off, but it can also deplete us of our physical and emotional energies! Here are a few common experiences of power loss and how to remedy them:
1) Probably the most common type of power-loss is in a romantic partnership. We care so strongly for the other person that we would do anything for them! It’s a very kind thought, however what happens when our partner takes advantage of our kindness? This can happen in both obvious and lesser than obvious ways. What this means is that other than the obvious signs that our partner may be taking advantage of us, he or she may be doing so on a subconscious level. In fact, this may even lead to an energetic co-dependency! One of you is the giver and one of you is the taker. All of the time. And you both may be living out these roles because it is serving your subconscious belief systems. Is this balanced? If you are in this type of relationship, it is important to recognize and ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES. By establishing healthy boundaries with your partner, you will find that you feel much more balanced! If you are the “taker” in this equation, take a step back and take note of how it is affecting your partner. Relationships are all about respect, trust and gratitude. Are those feelings mutual and equal in your relationship?
2) Aside from romantic partnerships, there are a diverse number of interpersonal relationships that can drain our personal power. For example, we are always at risk of giving another person TOO MUCH CREDIT. This will frequently occur when we are the type of person who trusts too easily. On many occasions, we will be introduced to an individual who appears to be a fine example of a human. We, being non-judgmental and optimistic, find ourselves begin to slip into a state of admiration. In fact, perhaps we begin to put this person on a pedestal. And this is the beginning of a power imbalance. We may find ourselves ignoring our own intuition because we are enamored with another person and believe everything they say to be true-regardless of the warning signs in our gut. This can be dangerous because when we put so much faith in someone else, we forget our ability to trust in our own power. When we lose sight of our own power, we may then begin to question ourselves in a negative way; doubting ourselves at every turn. When we hang on every word they say, when we fill our mind with dramatic hopes and dreams with respect to this person, when we believe that another person is a gift from God, an infallible miracle, we are bound to be disappointed. As we know, nobody is perfect. At the end of the day, the only credit that should be worth anything is your own self-credit. Because when we give others more credit than they deserve, we run the risk of feeling rejected, disappointed and let down. These are all examples of damaging personal power loss. It is important to give credit where credit is due, however it is equally important to see these people with objectivity- to see them who THEY are- not who you want them to be.
3) Probably every day of our lives, we have been told what to think, what to wear, what to try to look like and what to do with our lives. Some may say that society has been brainwashed by the media, the government and by major corporations. This is called POWER OVER. These bureaucracies will do anything to force their ideas into our heads. We find these characteristics in the types of people who are “human supremisists”- those who have the false belief that humans are superior to all other species. They are those who believe that destroying the homes and environments of other species is justified by the amount of money they will make. They exemplify the “power over” mentality. By being immersed in a culture that subscribes to POWER OVER, we may constantly feel like we are swimming upstream just to make it ok to be who WE are as individuals. In fact, we are likely allowing the POWER OVER mentality to affect us far more than it needs to! By reminding ourselves daily that these world leaders do not have our best interest at heart, nor do they have the best interest of animals, Mother Earth and future generations, we can make a difference to the impact that these predators have on our hearts and minds. Being led by those who have the “power over” mentality will not serve the greater good and is not in alignment with our soul’s purpose. By following what we know as truth in our hearts and souls, we shall overcome those who feel their need to control us!
4) Absolutely, the most important aspect of personal power maintenance is EMPOWERMENT. What is empowerment? Empowerment is recognizing and utilizing our inner power for the highest and greatest good. Many people are confused by this concept. Many people fear that they will cause harm by coming into their personal power. They fear that if they become empowered, they run the risk of exhibiting “power over” another. This is not the case. Being empowered will not harm another. In fact, it may have the opposite effect! For without empowerment, we are unable to stand up for ourselves and what we believe in. Without empowerment, we are slaves to those who see us as victims- those who will take our power because we let them. Empowerment is achieved through many means- often through hard work. Most necessarily, though, empowerment is achieved through self-examination, through finding one’s self-confidence to vocalize one’s inner voice.
Examining our own struggles and successes with personal power is a significant part of our spiritual journey. Once we have a solid grasp on where we are and where we’d like to be in terms of power balance, we can be a shining light to others!