Why do we give our Power away?
If you’re anything like me, you may have noticed that you often give your Power away and then regret it later.
This could look like signing up to do something you don’t want to do, trying to be “low maintenance”, not speaking your Truth, or a long list of other self-sacrificing behaviors. We are often told that this is the “right” thing to do and that we will be rewarded for it.
However, it sucks when are assumptions are not realized. Others don’t always reciprocate, we overload our plate with commitments, and we forget to take care of ourselves.
I think we can distill this down to one core benefit that we all yearn for. Security.
If we give to others, hopefully they won’t leave us. If we trust and praise a movement or organization, we get to be part of a community. If we don’t make our own decisions, we don’t have to be responsible for the outcome.
Security gives us a felt sense of safety and get to relax. Without security, we may feel like we are floating, alone, or we may feel immense fear and panic.
The irony is that if we give our power away too much, it has the opposite effect. We start to feel untrusting, unsafe, neglected, unappreciated, etc.
We can’t get rid of our need for safety and we don’t want to give so much power away that we feel burnt out or resentful so, what do we do?
The first thing we need to do is bring our pattern into our awareness. We have to voice our reality.
“I give my power away because I want others to like me.”
“I give me power away so that others won’t leave me.”
“I give me power away to prove that I am worthy.”
Next, we have to try to stand in a place of non-judgment to this.
“It’s okay that I sometimes give my power away.”
“It makes sense that I give me power away, sometimes.”
“Even when I give my power away, I am still a strong and capable human being.”
Notice how speaking this ALSO gives you a sense of safety and allows you to relax.
You get to be in your Power by creating this sense of security within yourself.
You don’t have to look outside of yourself to attain it.
This is what taking your Power back feels like.
From here, you may begin to see a path forward. It may be as simple as saying no to someone, taking a break from work, or handing off a commitment that doesn’t feel good.
It’s one small step forward.
If a feeling of guilt, shame, or fear arises, you can work with that, too.
“It’s okay that I feel guilty. I’ve been attaching my value as a person to my generosity for years.”
“Even when I say no, I’m still a good person.”
“It makes sense that this is difficult because I really care about how people view me.”
This is the journey and you are right where you are supposed to be.
This is "The Game"
You get 80 years… maybe.
You could also die at any moment.
You need to find a way to get food and water into your body or you will die.
You need to abide by certain rules or you may be locked in a cage.
You need to follow cultural norms or you may be judged or rejected.
You need to avoid many dangers that could leave you injured or ill. Many of them you have no control over.
The people you love and depend on could die at any moment.
People do and think weird shit and end up hurting us in the process. We also do the same, at times.
You are told you should keep pushing and work hard to create security.
Even if you are able to take a day off from work or childcare, an endless list of painful things can still happen.
There are no breaks.
Do you still wonder why we all experience anxiety?
Anxiety is a part of life if you care at all about what happens to you, your community, and this Earth.
Can we all agree on that and stop pretending?
Let’s stop pretending we know what’s going to happen next.
Let’s stop pretending that we aren’t feeling insecure, even when we are sitting on the beach.
Let’s stop pretending that we know what’s best for others.
Let’s stop pretending that we are better or worse than anyone else on this planet when an honest look would reveal our position in life was mainly due to circumstance.
And, most of all, let’s stop pretending that we don’t pretend… a lot.
If you've ever gone through a very intense emotional process, you probably noticed that your "break down" was eventually followed by a feeling of "aliveness" and "relief".
Maybe it was a death, a divorce, or revisiting a traumatic childhood experience.
The reason this happens is because emotions are like Christmas lights.
There is an entire spectrum of color and experience, that lights up when energy and attention are paid to it.
When you allow the energy to flow through you, the colors light up. This is the experience of "aliveness".
If we cut off or short circuit that energy, we cut off our experience to all emotions. There is no way to block out negative emotions and only feel positive.
That's why "I'm just trying to be positive" doesn't work in the long term.
A temporary block of negative emotions might give some short-term relief but, it also blocks positive emotions like joy, awe, and passion.
If this becomes the mode of operation, life can seem meaningless.
To deal with the meaninglessness, we will turn to external stimuli or "highs" to mimic the feeling of aliveness.
Partying, sex, gambling, risk taking, staying extremely busy with work or making money, etc.
Or, we may choose to go to sleep.
Watching TV, passing out, overeating, isolating, self-pity, etc.
It's not our fault that we fall into these pits (it's a part of life) but, we are the ones that are responsible for reaching out our hand for help and doing the work to pull ourselves out.