“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I came across this great quote this weekend; which summarized for me – my 2012 experience. I don’t know why; but it seems that more so then ever this year the synchronicities seem to be pointing toward the importance of empowerment when it comes to learning and healing. Ironically, the Universe may be pointing towards “empowerment”; but a great majority of people are looking the other way….
(You wouldn’t believe how many times I ask myself this question).
The topic of bullying for example has been “huge” these last 9 months showing how so many people are struggling with the idea of “power.” It’s almost as if we are continuously spinning the topic in order to consider every point of view. Is it wrong to teach our children some self-defence; or should we look further into the future and consider the challenges of over population: Will a rigid no-tolerance to violence guarantee the survival of our world instead? No matter how much we explore this subject it seems all we do is feed a debate – an eternal conflict.
Whenever I bring up the topic of “power” at my workshops I always have a good number of people who bring up the negative connotations attached to the word: How it can ruin the best of men and women. In most circles these days “power” is often synonymous to ego and arrogance. Power seems lousy for politics or Religion. Lately especially, I come across too many discussions as well as experiences on “abuse of power.” It gets confusing when it comes to taking sides. It seems everyone wants to be right and too many people are willing to fight “not to be wrong.” Where’s truth and justice? It’s clear to me that in great majority most people have never seen the benefits of “power” or don’t understand the word as being synonymous to “medicine.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ve (we – as humanity) back ourselves in a corner especially with religious and social indoctrination. These days people believe that “empowerment” implies being “nice, or complimenting”. There’s so much avoidance at so many levels. We avoid conflicts; we avoid conversations; we stay away from the negative all together…. Whatever happened to committing to others and their potential? Sometimes empowering people means pointing out the flaws; working through the issues; and sticking around even when the conflicts are never ending.
Still as I wrote my blog entry down tonight, I kept shaking my head at so many of my own comments; seeing how none of it is a 100% recipe. Positive or negative it’s easy to make a mistake and be completely off… Power or medicine doesn’t necessarily trigger a healing or learning process. After dealing with chronic illness for over 25 years I’ve come to realize that no matter the treatment or the healing it’s not a guarantee you’ll get better or even manage your illness. There’s so much more that obviously comes into play.
In Sacred Circle tradition we learn about healing and learning; inter-relations; beauty and abundance; and attitude and gratitude. All four of these sacred ways play a role in the coming to wholeness. When it comes to empowerment we have to look at more then just the topic of “power / medicine.” We have to consider all 4 sacred ways and how it interacts with “power” or how it contributes to it.
Nobody likes to be told that their actions, thoughts, behaviours or attitudes are rooted in fear especially when we’re passionate about them. On the other hand, it takes humility to actually take a bit of distance and truly look at our selves. Power isn’t about how we can exercise some influence on the people and the World around us. Power is about what lies within and how it exercises some influence on our daily living and our personal story. How do WE change: Transform our lives; become stronger; healthier and happier.
Many years ago I was asked a question from a reporter who was doing an article on me. He said: “You must be proud of the work you are doing and how so many people love you. How does it feel to have so much purpose in your life?” I remember feeling very uncomfortable with the statement and asking if I could sit with it for a while before answering. The man felt strange about my request genuinely believing he had complimented me and given me high praise. He even wrote about it in his article pointing out that despite “wisdom beyond my years” I showed insecurity and fear towards my abilities.
After sitting with the man’s question for literally over 4 years and taking in some of his judgments and assessments, I finally wrote to the man and said: “It is not possible to be proud for the impact I have on others; but more so I believe it’s crucial to be proud for the influence I have on me and my own story. If we could all change something about ourselves every day, the World would definitely have a fighting chance.”
He of course never wrote back to me. He probably didn’t even remember who I was. I found it amazing how much of an impact he had on me because I felt horrible about some of his statements for such a long time. I believed that he used his power to make me look bad and that hurt. On the other hand today, I look back at the whole experience and how much I learnt from it. Today, I can honestly admit: “it contributed to empowering me because I chose to be empowered.”
Power is a personal attitude and this summer I can fairly say I come across it the most amongst trees.
I haven’t written a blog since mid-June. It’s not because of lack of experience or learning / healing. Quite the opposite. I find myself integrating the abundance of lessons coming my way. I have a feeling FALL will bring forth lots of new entries…
I always appreciate your feedback, your questions and your stories. Please keep them coming.