Have you ever had a moment of personal power? A moment of infinite freedom? A decisive moment in your personal history where you were 100% aware of your personal power and the freedom to choose?
They say that someone with nothing left to lose has nothing to fear. I believe the reason for this is because it somewhat liberating, while not necessarily ideal, when you have lost everything you love, you have the ultimate freedom of choice. Because you are no longer weighed down by commitment to others or commitment to responsibilities or commitment in general. You have removed all the balls and completely cut all the chains. It is the reason why people who have finally hit rock bottom can not only come back, but often come back stronger than ever. When you have lost everything, you no longer have any reason to stop trusting your intuition and listening to your own inner guidance and GPS. Because when you hit rock bottom, you start realizing the roll you have had to play in your own failures. Because when all you have loved is lost… you truly have to choose to live. Once you make the choice to live and claw your way through all the muck and mud of self destruction you can see the places where you took wrong turns.
Losing everything is not the only way to step into our own power. Unfortunately, we humans tend to like taking the hard way more often than the scenic route.
Every day we have the ability to wake up and choose a different reality. It all starts when we claim our personal power and recognize the power of personal choice and take different actions than the ones that keep us tied to ideals that are not ours. Even when we choose to compromise our ideals because we love someone, once we recognize this has been our choice, we no longer feel a victim of circumstance or anything else. When we own our choices we become more powerful because we establish healthy boundaries when we know what we stand for and value most.
Of course once we step into our power, there are always circumstances outside of our control because there are Billions of souls co-creating our reality and not everyone’s ideal fits together. This of course means that we still have a responsibility to choose our response to that reality. I hate traffic jams, it gets up my blood pressure and stresses me out. When I allow myself to become inpatient with the traffic, it does not change the fact that their is traffic, it just makes the traffic unbearable and my mood sour. This is a choice!
From here, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce the impact our choices have on our health and in our bodies. Besides the food we choose to eat, choosing to stress out in traffic for an hour a day certainly is not doing much to help the blood pressure. Minute by minute we make little choices that impact our reality and impact our health. When we step into our personal power, we start to recognize the impact each and every choice we make every single minute of every single day creates this life and at any moment we can choose to create a different reality by making a different choices.
I struggle with this daily. I know I create my own reality intellectually, but sometimes, my ego has a difficult time making the integration with reality. Its super easy to get in my car, excited to get somewhere (Usually trying to get home from the daily grind) and then get irritated when I see traffic is going to delay me. It’s easy to lose sight of my part in creating my own reality when the guy in the next lane decides to jump in front of me and then hit his breaks. It’s really easy to lose sight in those instant moments of impact where the rubber meets the road. But, we must slug on and keep at it, like a meditation practice, when we realize the mind has wandered, we gently go back to the breath. Daily, we must gently remind ourselves, when we realize we have allowed emotions to take control (the ego), we must be gently with ourselves when we do this, because forgetting is part of the human condition. When we catch ourselves drifting down the river of emotion, simply remember that at anytime we can choose not to. We always have a choice. The choice will not always be easy but it is always there.
The more we practice stepping into our power and claiming the power of our own choices, we get better at it, it becomes more natural. Our mind wanders less and the tides of emotion begin to shore themselves up. We begin feeling empowered by our choices and we begin to claim that power more often. We no longer say yes when we mean no. We no longer make commitments our hearts are not really congruent with. We begin valuing our time and our personal freedom. We express our boundaries and communicate our needs clearly and our relationships transform. We choose when to compromise and when we refuse the incongruence. Once we have claimed our power, life starts getting easier because we understand the power of choice.
This also means we have to start looking at what we hold dearly and where we have those balls and chains. I had a very liberating moment when I learned for myself to consider the source of my critics. It is a basic human need to want to fit in, but it is important to recognize where it is we are trying to fit before we make commitments to sacrifice our freedom to choose.
I have shared before that I have had some daddy issues over the years, constantly seeking approval from men who are incapable of giving it to me for one reason or another, repeating the patterns of my childhood, my father’s emotional unavailability and my need for his approval. Cutting that ball and chain gave me wings to fly! One day, I realized that my father is a miserable, unhappy man who is chronically negative, critical and dryly sarcastic. He is that way with everyone. While I had always made it my personal mission to seek his approval and pride, he is incapable of giving it to anyone, it has nothing to do with me, it wasn’t personal. It was his problem with his life, not mine. When he chose to criticize my choices, I started choosing to not care. Because if choosing the life he would chose for me would result in my having his disposition, why on earth would I choose his path? Do not get me wrong, this does not mean we should criticize anyone else’s path, but I do think we should consider carefully whose criticism we are willing to take to heart. Whose life are we trying to live? Who are we trying to emulate? Once we step into our personal power, it becomes more evident that the fewer opinions we allow to matter, the more liberated we are.
Stepping into our power is not an overnight thing, it is a process that has to be worked at and perfected and massaged and molded. We learn as we grow and we share what we know with others so we can all help light the way. Because enlightenment itself is so brief and hard to explain in human words, we do every thing we can to find ways to describe what we have seen and to live up to our part in the circle of life.
I am by no means an expert because as I have shared, it is a daily struggle to remember. Emotions are like waves, they have a tendency to knock us out of our natural rhythm. We have to learn to swim with the tides, sometimes that means diving right into the thick of it and holding on to see what comes out the other side. Each and every day I have to remind myself I have choices, but it gets easier with practice and then I begin discovering even more layers of places in which I actually have more control than I have ever realized. Its an amazingly fabulous journey! What does your struggle look like? How do you struggle to remember you have choices?