The path to personal power is, ironically, to give up external power.
First things first: the ability to control another person is actually force, not power. True power is internal, it is being right-sized, equal, respectful, and honoring to all around us, listening to our truth, and using our agency in service to that which has no agency.
That is powerful beyond measure.
External force, the ability or desire to control another person, actually distracts us from our personal power. And so, the path to personal power is to give up external force, control and feeling superior (or inferior). The path to personal power is to pursue freedom.
Here’s what I mean by this. We are all aware, consciously or unconsciously, of our personal power relative to those we interact with. Visualize a heat map, with each person a different color or size relative to the others. We know exactly what it looks like in our minds, and where feel superior or inferior to others.
When we feel superior, or a desire to control another, we are weaker because we are vulnerable to the actions of another. When they do as we like, we feel good. When they don’t do as we like, we seek punitive control over them. Our peace, our feeling good, is completely dependent on the actions of others - which ironically gives them control over us. And we never actually feel safer, we always feel more vulnerable.
In truth, we are all equal. We are all equal because we all have agency, and all beings with agency are equal. Any jockeying for power with other equal people is a distraction, it distracts us from knowing our own personal power. Giving up control of another removes the illusion of power and holds us accountable for doing what is ours to do.
Giving up control over another makes us face the parts of us that we like to avoid. In truth, we can only ever control ourselves, and by control I mean listen to. We avoid our own personal power because it holds us accountable to knowing our truth. Our power lies in being accountable to our truth.
True freedom, true power, resides in giving up the illusion of force. Giving away our “power,” and listening to ourselves. (Except it really isn’t power, it’s force and superiority.)
We do this by consciously releasing power. By seeing where we feel bigger than another and consciously pulling our power and control back in. By consciously releasing the desire to control another.
This is an act of great will, because giving up power is terrifying. Our world tells us to horde power and control because it will make us safe. It actually doesn’t keep us safe, which we intuitively know because we never actually feel safer. Giving up power is actually freeing. It is freeing because it is true. It puts us into right-size with those of other agency and equality.
True power comes from recognizing our own equality by recognizing it in others, listening to our truth, acting with integrity (wholeness) in alignment with our truth, and acting in service of those without agency.
We don’t have to do everything, we have to do what is ours to do. When we are right-sized, acting upon our truth, doing only what is ours to do, and employing our agency in service of those without agency, we are powerful beyond measure.
Norma Van Horn