Have you ever had thoughts like: “If only they would do this, or stop doing that, then I would be happy”? If the answer is yes, then you have given away your power. And we all do that on a regular basis, until we stop. And thus stop the suffering and the abuse.
There are many ways we are giving away our power, or taking it from other people and it isn’t always that obvious. Let’s have a look at some situations.
It could be disguised as being concerned about others, wanting others to feel better. As feeling bad because other people feel bad. When we see the other person as weak and ourselves as stronger, we are taking away their power. It is actually our own suffering that we want to avoid. We want the other person to feel better so that we can feel better. We are not yet able to hold space for the other person so that they can receive insights by themselves. We do not yet trust the power of the other person to grow on their own and take the time they need. Instead, we want to fix the other person.
Another situation may be that we are suffering ourselves and that we think that the other person holds the key to our happiness. Or is responsible for our unhappiness. We want the other person to approve of us, to appreciate and love us, and when that approval or that love is not coming for whatever reason, we suffer. Or we are afraid or unable to set healthy boundaries and we say yes when a no would serve the other person’s best interest (and our own) better. We have given away our power to be happy to the other person.
If we are looking at a spiritual teacher for answers to life’s big questions, we are again giving away our power. We are not trusting the wisdom we can find inside of our own being. Of course we can allow ourselves to be inspired by others. But we should always check if the information we receive is true for us. And not accept it because someone else says so.
Last night I saw a documentary about how huge internet companies collect our data and how we give away our power to them by ordering from them. I do that as well, and it made me think. Ordering from such huge companies is easy, it is cheap and convenient. And we are busy people, so convenience is tempting. But aren’t we giving away our power?
As a company, is it your intention to dominate the market, and thus take away other people’s power? Or is it you primary intention to serve and empower others, and make money in the process by being of great value to people?
Power struggles are all over the place and we might think that it is just the way life is. But is it? Could it be that this all happens because we have forgotten who we are. Are we limited human beings or are we more? Is there an aspect to our existence that we have lost track of, that we can’t see anymore? Until we wake up.
Perhaps this doesn’t resonate with you. Perhaps you find it nonsense. Then this blog post is not meant for you. But if it does resonate, then I encourage you to turn within, to question your beliefs and to be quiet en listen for answers. You are far more powerful than you think! And you can find it out for yourself.
Now please don’t think that this means that you can’t offer help. It is all about your mindset. When you offer help, is the other person free to decline? Do you see the other person as an equal? Are you able to allow the other person to find his or her own answers?
It also doesn’t mean you can’t express your needs. When you need advice, help or assistance, are you feeling inferior or a burden to others? Or are you feeling equal and worthy of having your needs met, if not by the person you are asking from, then by someone else. Are you allowing the other person the freedom to say no?
Power is an interesting topic to practice our mindfulness on. Are we aware of the power dynamics that are going on in our lives and how they are affected by our way of looking at the world, our fears and our habits? Can we shift our behaviour into empowering others and ourselves instead?