Authentic power has been on my mind recently. What does it mean to be powerful? For me, power had a negative connotation. Whether it was thinking of a dictator, or someone who clawed their way to the top, it never gave me the warm fuzzies. So naturally, I shied away from it. However, in turning away from my power, I went the other direction. This put me in quite the pickle as this approach never sat well with me either: the people pleasing, the passive aggressive comment because I was so scared to be direct, learning how to keep a straight face while really feeling panicked inside. Recently, I've had some opportunities to step into my authentic power. I didn't realize this (or see them as opportunities at the time!) because, well, I was super scared and relying on old, knee jerk ways to deal with situations that just needed my truth.
So I posed the question over and over in my mind. What is authentic power? Where does it come from? Does everyone have it or it's potential? Who is authentically powerful? And on and on. The answers I got back were direct and in and of themselves pretty powerful. Because I kept asking myself this, I realized I was seeing little signposts about it everywhere---signs, emails, flyers, even instagram. Most of the messages didn't even mention the word power or what I had envisioned power to be like previously. Instead they were filled with super affirming messages of: BE, JOY, TRUST, and LIGHT. But there they were, the answers to my question about power.
Below are a few snippets from the collection of things I've read recently that have rung so true. And by sharing them, I'm practicing stepping out of my comfort zone of sorta-truth into real truth. It's uncomfortable and a tad bit scary, but I've realized that if I truly want to cultivate specific things in my life, I have to reach out in order to receive. Like attracts like.
Maybe you'll find inspiration from them, too.
The wound is the place where the light enters you. --Rumi
Try to show up as an adult each and every time. It's not easy. Sometimes your child-self wants to express herself in sulks or passive-aggressive actions. That's okay. It's your learned knee-jerk automatic reaction. Just, if you can, allow your adult self to come onto the stage. Relationships and situations will work much better the more you can do that. --Danu Morrigan
No one is asking you to be original. We're asking you to be generous and brave and to matter. We're asking you to step up and take responsibility for the work you do, and to add more value than a mere cut and paste. Give credit, definitely, but reject the fear that you're doing something that's already been done before. Sure, it's been done before. But not by you. And not for us. --Seth Godin
Positive feelings are a form of power. And power is all kinds of uncontrollable, elevating, disruptive, expansive, and threatening — to your own fear, and to people who prefer low-risk living. Joy threatens unconsciousness.
We push away positive feelings because the light emotions can create a stark contrast to the dark emotions. The joy will expose our sorrow. If we don't go to the height of our joy, we don't have to go to the depths of our pain.
Once you experience joy, whether it's something as simple as appreciating the sharp red of fall leaves, or it's an incredible orgasm, or it's the transcendence of deep self love meeting love of another — whatever the form, you're closer to the power source. Power sources are inherently dangerous. Positive feelings might make you a little bit louder. Maybe blindingly bright. You will be less easy to fool, less likely to settle — you’ll be too big for the box. Get big.
Choose the joy. Burn the box. Leave the flock. Go for deeply adored. --Danielle LaPort
Women have often felt insane when cleaving to the truth of our experience. Our future depends on the sanity of each of us, and we have a profound stake, beyond the personal, in the project of describing our reality as candidly and fully as we can to each other.
When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.
The lie is a short-cut through another’s personality. Truthfulness, honor, is not something which springs ablaze itself; it has to be created between people. Truthfulness anywhere means a heightened complexity. But it’s a movement into evolution. --Adrienne Rich