I confess — my path to power was messy!
I did not have a lot of direct guidance. Or teachers.
I made quite a lot of mistakes and learned from them– sometimes painfully. The absence of guidance and teachers challenged me, taught me not to be powerful, and told me to shut down my power by those around me as a child. For multiple reasons — being mixed-race, female, different, sensitive, an outsider, an insider, my working-class roots — figures and forces all around me were there to shut me down.
Despite all these energies, power was still present inside of me. Even though I was a child without words for what that meant, I could feel it alive in me. Like most people, I was never taught about power directly, at any point in my life, not as a child, a teenager or an adult. The lack of this education meant I was completely unaware and unable to perceive the multitudes of actual power that I had because I had become so bound into the role of someone who did not have much power or was not allowed to have it.
I, and others, could not see that I was brimming with so many different and beautiful forms of power to share. Instead, I was made to feel ashamed.
The sources of what was going to become my power were at first things I was ashamed about – things that made me different, things that left me rejected or bullied by others or groups. These included sources of power that originated in wounds of trauma, and my own idiosyncratic weirdness of being the person that I am. These would, in the future, be harvested as gifts of power.
As a sensitive person, I was also very attuned to the misuse of powers around me. I hurt when I saw others hurt by power. I was acutely aware of the signaling around the misuse of power even when it was not overtly expressed, and I worried if I was going to be like them, those people who I saw and experienced misusing power.
That is a role, the “ones who misuse power”. I came to know this. I experienced it outside and also inside me. I was also–as a fellow human–was capable of having and misusing it, and causing harm. I was so freaked out by the idea of misusing it that I stayed very quiet and stayed on the edges of my world, hiding it away, hiding from it.
The reality is, as much as I hid from power, I still had power. The problem was I did not recognize it, much as I tried not to see or have it. To learn to use it properly meant that I sadly and unintentionally irritated people along the way – my actual fear of bothering people led me, at times, to upset people with my power.
I am not alone and I am sure you have versions of those stories, too.
This is one of the greatest double binds of power. If we don’t own it, we still have it and can be injurious with it.
One of the things that woke me up to this was some people I cared about, people in my world, complained about my power being “annoying” and pointed out what they saw as my “misuse” of it. This surprised me, firstly because I did not perceive myself to have the power they saw I had. Their complaints, while painful, were gifts to me because they made me look at myself and open my awareness and my heart and go over my fear of edges to see who I really was.
Through their gossip and their direct accusations, they pointed me to a treasure trove that had been hidden from me since childhood.
I am grateful to them and their complaints even though at the time it was extremely uncomfortable.
Once I started looking at where I had power – and once I could get beyond my fear of upsetting or irritating people with my power – to my surprise I saw that there was power everywhere. I discovered the enormous spiritual powers that had grown through my lifelong wrestling with acute trauma and PTSD, challenges that I had triumphed over. The shocking death of my brother gave me fearlessness around the pain of others and made me unafraid of going into dark places with others.
I came to see the power of my creativity and humor, my ease in and love of groups, and also my ability to speak up for those whose voices were unheard.
Any hesitations I had to speak up was a power I was painfully marginalizing.
Coming to know this power, I worked deeply on myself to find a powerful and loving way to do this. It is not always easy and I learned as I grew. I spoke up frequently for those who have been harmed. I needed to own this and find balance in my way of doing it. I had not seen that as a power before. It was a motivation that had moved me unconsciously, and in becoming more conscious became central to who I am and what I live.
I discovered my power to love people who feel unlovable. I discovered so many kinds of powers scattered through the many parts of me that had been labeled odd, unacceptable, and strange by others in my life. I discovered and owned the power of my psychic gifts, my starry-other-worldly nature, my access to altered states of consciousness, and my deepest dreaming nature.
Through becoming a conscious hunter of my power I have reclaimed all of these so they live inside of me as warm, embodied structured strengths and capacities in my being.
Each of these powers then are connected to powers beyond them, to the universe, to the joy innate in life, to the strength of meeting the darkness, the mythic level beyond me. This is a relief, these powers do not belong to me, they belong to the universe, to humanity, to nature, and life itself. Therefore I get to be very, very humble, playful and a beginner, while also one who carries knowledge and expertise with these powers as I live my life.
I have become more trustworthy with power. Can titrate my power to just the right dose to be useful to someone or a group, and use my sensitivity to hone that. If I don’t get it right, I can fix it.
Being in my power I don’t mind being wrong, being humble, not mattering in the moment, because I matter in a deeper way – I am connected to the power inside and beyond myself. Power has become a home in me, I live in it, it lives in me, I serve it, it serves me – and in doing so I serve life and my calling.
I feel in love with power, and immensely grateful. It is as grounded in me, as I am in it.
Are you ready to gather and reclaim your own power?
To trust in your own worthiness to stand in the powers innate in you and earnt in life?