Powerlessness… now that’s a difficult concept to grasp because it is uncomfortable to think of being without power. To me, powerlessness was the equivalent of being buried alive: conscious, yet unable to escape. In that situation, what do you do? Screaming doesn’t help, neither does clawing your way out. Can’t move. Can’t assume the fetal position. It’s impossible to die with some form of comfort and dignity in that position (after all, that’s what you want… isn’t it?) I now realize that my concept of powerlessness is exactly what I feel it to be, because power is the child of the ego. And not feeling as though I have power over a situation is the feeling of death to the ego.
Being a woman/artist, I am learning to accept the things that I am powerless over: that is, the one thing at this time that I cannot change. In my mind, I flipped the feeling that I need to control whatever is in front of me to the feeling of what if I cannot change this one thing? This one thing being the traffic that I’m sitting in… Or the laugh lines that are now forming around my mouth… Or what you think of me. Moreover, I am learning to embrace and behold the beauty of what I can change, such as what I eat, the words that come out of my mouth, the overall tone and strength of my physical body, what I read, how I treat the next person I see, and what I think of myself, to name a few.
Power is the most sought-after commodity in this life. Just like the other man-made virtues, it’s no more than an illusion of time and space. [The short definition of feeling] powerful means to feel in control of what I have, who I am, and how I live my life. But human nature goes beyond that, and tends to want to feel in control of the next person’s life, how they live it, and how it affects your life, too. We feel this way as parents, spouses, drivers, managers, artists, musicians, waiters, water meter readers, electricians, accountants, pastors, brothers, friends, authors, contract managers, bank tellers, students, teachers, editors, customer service reps… the list goes on.
Funny thing about the concept of power: we only think about the power we presume to have when we feel we don’t have it in one or more situations. That’s when the panic sets in, and we feel that ultimately we will be buried alive. But when you are going about your everyday life, whether feeding your family or walking your dog, we simply allow life to be. And it’s in the being that we find the true strength and power of life.
Whatever role you identify with, whatever game you choose to play, is your business and ultimately your choice. However you choose to wield your ideal concept of power is up to you. But today, just one time today, when you face an uncomfortable or seemingly powerless situation, take a minute to ask yourself this question: what if I cannot change this one thing? Then ask, what’s the worst that can happen to me? You may find the place of real power and true peace, if only for one minute today.
Today’s intention: I intend to surrender to the things that I cannot change.