For the past six months the words power and empowerment have been in my life.
At first I had an aversion to them. They brought up lots of questions for me: Why do I want power? Power is an illusion anyway. Who needs it? Why is this something I’m suddenly feeling like I need? Why is empowerment a good thing? And what does it mean when you disempower yourself or give your power away?
I started opening up to the concept of empowerment and realized that it was something I badly needed in my life, but I understood it mainly on a mental level. The feeling of it was there, but I couldn’t completely “see” what it meant for me in my life on a concrete level or how I was empowering or disempowering myself.
But recently the clouds have parted and the meaning of these words has become crystal clear. I see EXACTLY where I give my power away and why.
Giving your power away means letting someone or something else decide who you can be, how you can act, how you can feel, how you can live your life, etc. It’s letting someone else determine whether you are good enough.
We do this ALL THE TIME, until we don’t. We do it so unconsciously most of that time that we don’t even realize we’re doing it, until we do. It’s a pattern that’s deeply embedded in our psyches.
So why do we do this? Why do we allow other people to determine what we can and cannot do?
Because we’re looking for love outside of ourselves.
Most of us growing up and even still now experienced conditional love- our parents and teachers gave us love if we did what we were told and conformed to who they wanted us to be. We learned that to be ourselves and who we authentically were was not ok. That would not get us love.
So when you’re breaking out of the box of conformity and limited expression to embody your true self, you are forced to let conditional love go. You are now moving into the experience of unconditional love of self.
And you have to end the pattern of trying to get love or approval from others.
I’ve had to confront these patterns in myself recently because of my separation from my husband. Since I wasn’t in a romantic relationship anymore, I saw that I had been relying on an external source, my husband, for love. I had gotten lazy about giving it to myself, which ironically, was something I had been very good at as a child and young adult.
The beauty, connection, and comfort of being in a long-term romantic relationship had gotten me almost addicted to seeking love externally from a partner. If my partner wasn’t loving me, then all was not ok. I believed I had to fix something about myself or my partner to get that love back. I was giving my power away, or in other words, I was forgetting that the only person who could truly give me that love was myself.
The ending of that relationship is forcing me to love myself again more than ever before and stop trying to be who other people want me to be in order to try to get love from them.
I’m remembering how to do that by drawing on the wisdom of my younger self who always knew she didn’t need a relationship to be ok. Who knew her inherent value and worth and loved herself no matter who was or wasn’t in her life. She was wise beyond her years.
We don’t realize that this love we are all seeking can never be found solely externally, though we sure can try. The true and real love that we are looking for can only be found inside of us. We can only give it to ourselves, or in other words, allow the love that we already are into our awareness.
Here’s the truth: You are good enough as you are. Right now. As imperfect and flawed as you believe yourself to be.
You are perfect. You are whole.
This is all awakening/ascension/enlightenment is really about- realizing that you are loved just as you are. In fact, you ARE the love that you were looking for externally the whole time.
Unraveling these patterns hasn’t been easy. I’ve been opening up to layers of deep pain and shame that have to be felt, seen, and heard. There’s no way around it. But the awareness of these parts of myself, their pain, and how they try to alleviate that pain by seeking love externally is healing them. They’re integrating.
And what’s happening now is I’m experiencing peace. A profound level of peace and trust in myself that is beyond words.
It’s empowerment. I get it now.
Want to learn more about freedom? Subscribe here to get my latest posts: