Before you read any further, I’d like you to take a moment and consider what the word power means to you. When you think of these words, perhaps you think of something or someone that has authority or control over something or someone else. Maybe you think of something or someone that is influential or impactful in some way. Or perhaps, instead, your definition of these words is more along the lines of manipulation or domination. When you think of power, do you tend to associate its traits with other people, or might you also think of the power that things, habits, behaviors, and ideals can have?
As you reflect on what this word means to you, I challenge you to also think about what has power in your life. Are there certain people that have an especially powerful impact on you? People that have the power to influence how you feel and what you do? Do you find yourself concerned with what people might think about you, or how you compare to societal standards? What kind of a relationship do you have with common objects, such as money, food, and alcohol? Do they serve as a simple means to an end, or do you have an emotional attachment to such things? How reactive or avoidant are you to strong emotions or stressful situations? Perhaps none of these examples resonate with you and there is something else that has a powerful presence in your life. Or, perhaps not. Perhaps you are truly your own keeper.
Power, in and of itself, is a dynamic that is neither positive nor negative. However, power does receive value when we let it influence our lives in some meaningful way. If we give our power way to people and things outside of ourselves, we surrender a part of ourselves to them. In contrast, we maintain our personal power when we are able to have a relationship with external things without being controlled by them.
As you think about your personal definition of power today and reflect on what has power in your life, I encourage you to rethink your relationship with those things if it is no longer serving your higher purpose. Remember that no thing can have power over you if you do not submit a part of yourself to it, and that empowerment, encouragement, and liberation are far more powerful forces than domination, oppression, control, or authority. And finally, remember that true freedom lies not in being free to do whatever you wish, but in freeing your mind, your heart, and your true self from negative limitations and constraints so that you may embrace authenticity, peace, and a more harmonious life.