|Posted on 13 November, 2018 at 14:15|
As I walked down a street in my middle-class neighborhood one sunny afternoon, a woman approached me and said, “Could you give me 35 cents for a phone call? My husband beat me up and I’ve been stranded here all morning.” As I reached for my wallet, I noticed something white on her finger. When I asked what was wrong with it, she replied, “It’s broken.” The “something white” was her knucklebone protruding through her skin.
Another woman who was a friend of mine many years ago was standing at her bank withdrawing cash from an ATM one evening. As she began to press the buttons, she heard someone else enter the lobby. A rather large man had come in and he stood so close to her that she could feel his breath on her neck. She turned around, look directly into his eyes and assertively stated, “You’re in my space!” The man backed off immediately.
Both women are just over five feet tall. Both are in their mid to late 40s. So why is there such a remarkable difference in their experiences? The answer: personal power.
Power is not something outside of us. It is not something we get from “out there.” It does not come from our job titles, our bank balances or our positions in society. It is something we develop, and it can only be found within.
It took me many years to feel powerful. My role models were women who were locked in the stereotype of dependent homemaker. And women were not alone in the prison of stereotypes. For generations men were saddled with total responsibility for their family’s financial wellbeing.
I am thankful that today we all have the opportunity to move beyond the stereotypes of the past. Women are now assuming managerial positions, more men are stepping into the role of primary caregiver, etc. … and everybody wins. Never before have we had opportunities like we do today. Yet because we still have a long way to go, the following are some ideas to assist you in developing even greater personal power.
Be Accountable – The power you have to create a fulfilling, authentic and empowered life lies in your ability to control your own thoughts and emotions, no matter what is happening around you. Being powerful means responding to events, not reacting. So instead of looking at your current experiences and feeling like you have no power to change anything, begin to look at your life from a more positive, proactive approach.
Live Authentically – To live authentically means to be you, right down to your toenails. Value yourself exactly as you are while still being willing to grow and learn. Be clear about what you desire and live your own truth. Take the time to determine what is important to you, discover what your dreams are and then do what it takes to make them a reality.
Take Action – When we want something, we tend to either wait for it to show up at our door or we go out and attempt to hammer it into place. While the latter does make things happen, it is best to decide what it is you want, watch for opportunities and then take inspired action. When opportunities present themselves, consider them carefully. Just because something stumbles across your path does not mean it’s right for you or even good for you. Be discerning and above all, listen to your intuition.
Be Loving – When you are empowered, you are not afraid to love others. Since our sense of power and our ability to speak up are interconnected, loving powerfully involves being vulnerable and communicating honestly and openly. Communication is an intricate process of being able to listen and being understood. Work at developing both.
Father Leo Booth said, “We associate spirit with positive and creative energy. This energy gives us the power to live, work and create. Spiritual people are positive and creative human beings. They know, deep inside themselves, that they have the power to create the difference in their lives. They have looked within and found what can be called their 'yes' to life, and this 'yes' shines forth in their attitudes and actions.”
Let this positive and creative energy flow through you and say yes to life by living more powerfully each day.
Copyright © 2003 Julie Tkachuk (Published in The St. Albert Gazette June 7, 2003)