How often in life do we feel we have lost our power? What exactly does having power mean? First, authentic power is subtle. It is something that comes from a place of calm and trust. Force is overt. When we lose control over something and/or someone we feel we have lost our power. What we have lost is our sense of calm and trust. Our power to what? Control?
Control is not power, it is a form of force. When we lose our power to/over something, that something becomes the center of our universe. We lose our emotional objectivity and we become reactive rather than responsive. Reactivity is difficult to handle because we are ‘acting’ out of our emotional need to control. We cannot stop thinking about it, ruminating over and over about it because we desire to gain control over it.
To gain control we typically try and use some form of force. The more we force something, however, the more control we lose. The more control we lose the more we try and force our will. The old adage says that if you chase something it will run away. But, it is so difficult to trust that if you back off that things will work themselves to balance. Thus, it becomes a never ending battle. We begin to get the “why me’s” and we feel alone in our experience of powerlessness. But it is all Mind. The Mind is distorting, spewing stories of doom and anxiety, and we sit in the present moment with an uncomfortable fear. It is all distortion.
When I have lost my power, I remind myself that nothing has power. I remind myself that anxiety is fearful thinking projected forward in my imagination. In theory, anxiety is simple. It is thought distortion. When we get into situations that scare us, our imaginations take over filling our minds with endless horrifying stories/outcomes. Once we spiral down this path it is difficult to reign in the thoughts that create the chaotic emotions. I have learned the only things that have power are my ‘thoughts’ about the thing that I think has power. That simple reminder helps me to orient to the now. I need to move from reacting to responding. To do this, I have to wait out the emotional wave of panic/fear until is subsides. Once it subsides I am better able to respond to the issue and find my power.
The first question I ask myself is “is this situation or circumstance I am in solvable?” That answer is always yes. The solution may not always be what I expect or immediately available, but rest assured there is always a solution. Then I breathe. If the solution does not seem immediate I have to apply a certain amount of “letting go.” In letting go, I give the situation/circumstance its Place in my life, but I resist giving it a Power in my life. Sometimes the way to power is to let go. The great Lao Tzu wrote “by letting go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.” Sometimes when we stop forcing our way and we embrace letting go, the solution arrives.