Message from the woods: consider the idea of changing our relationship to, and our perspective on, the word ‘power.’
True power is an internal experience of wholeness and completeness. It has nothing to do with anything on the outside. It cannot be given to us or granted from anyone or anything on the outside, it can only be embodied and experienced on the inside. Claimed and chosen.
When I worked in international development in rural Ethiopia, the dignity with which some of the poorest people on the planet carried themselves, and others, was true embodiment of power. And this is the same sense of power that can be experienced regularly the woods, in nature. Or through the Peace Power Path.
In contrast, what we typically call power is actually a *position of responsibility* within a larger whole.
Consider this: We only have the position of responsibility because we are a part of a larger group - it is an expression of a relationship, not about us at all, or for us individually. It is not personal. So what we typically call “people in power” is actually ”people in positions of responsibility.”
Therefore, the greater the amount or position of responsibility held, the greater the accountability to, the greater the transparency for, the group.
The idea of “positions of power” reeks of privilege. Positions of responsibility are the opposite of privilege. And the abuse of this responsibility, for personal gain, goes against the wholeness of the group. Nature knows that it our sense of relationship to the whole that is what enables all to thrive. And therefore to offer respect, rather than force, over other sovereign beings.
(And if you find yourself feeling powerless, look inside to remember your power, for that is the only place it can ever be found. A flower needs no permission to bloom.)
Until we call it what it is we cannot address the root problem or solve it effectively.
Who’s with me?!
Norma Van Horn