Archive for November, 2016

I’ve been thinking about the nature of power a lot lately – researching, reflecting, observing. It’s largely been prompted by the US presidential elections however that is not the entire picture. I guess I’ve been reflecting on my experiences with power and equally with the loss of my power. What qualifies someone to hold power? How do you hold power when the nature of power is dynamic?

I’ve been wondering how people survive power given we’ve seen so many who gain it, lose it. I’ve also been looking at those that manage to hang onto it and have decided they are not the narcissistic that burn brightly only to either self destruct or fizzle out into irrelevance. Rather they are those with multiple power sources, in short the experienced and those smart enough to know about the real nature of power.

Sure there are the dictators who seize it, and the autocratic that suppress opposition but in a free system unless you have the majority onside most of the time, power will go to the next and the next, continually expressing itself through change and an opportunity to learn…about ourselves.

Power can be superficial and fickle. It’s can also be linked to survival, or at least that’s what we’ve been led to think. 

I’ve discovered that power is not an external thing. It’s not reliant on money, status, class or association (bless the people who believe this). Real power is self actualised. In other words understanding and being who you are will make you powerful. Knowledge which leads to self knowledge will make you powerful. Thinking critically and really stripping away the crap in society – taking a deeper, questioning look – will make you powerful. Curiosity and interaction, can lead to power. Love and compassion for others is also self actualising. Something as simple as being happy and tolerant, and secure within yourself is powerful. 

And so I return to those questions on power I’ve been considering. There is only one answer: knowing and believing in yourself and your own power. When you get to that point, you are very powerful.

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Some of us have learned the hard way that respect isn’t automatic or even given to those who deserve it.  Rather, deserved respect can end up subservient to another’s ego and agenda. And that’s ok because respecting yourself is the only bottom line that matters. 

Think about it. If you respect yourself then you won’t allow disrespect from others; you won’t allow the lines to be crossed. The agendas of others are meaningless because they are not your own. And you respect your own decisions and actions because you respect yourself. Actually I’ll go one step further…you love yourself.

I’ve only just learned this lesson; I mean really learned it. It absolutely sunk in when I came to terms with real equality – the poet, the angelic, the capitalist and the thief, all equal, and it has nothing to do with some pointless Christian doctrine. It has to do with understanding the power in loving (and giving this) to yourself. No one is, or should be, any less loved. 

In learning the lesson I found my boundaries. Importantly, what is other people’s business and what is my business. 

In other words you don’t have to invest emotions in other people’s ‘journey’. Your journey is more than enough to keep you occupied and deserves your respect. It’s a lifelong quest and how wonderfully important is that?