How I Became Friends With My Power
By Z Zoccolante
(Listen to the audio of this post in the blue box below)
Recently, I reenlisted in a jiu jitsu class where I’ve learned some interesting things.
- I don’t use my body weight appropriately.
- I’d be the first one to jump out of the fight and run down the street.
- People could pretty much kill me if they didn’t give me chance.
Slight joking aside, jiu jitsu has brought up a fascinating conversation about power and our comfort level with being in our personal power.
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For some of us, the past has taught us that being powerful, smart, or even pretty is dangerous. It’s taught us to shy away from our personal power because we’ve been reprimanded for using it.
I have friends who’ve purposely failed classes in order to make friends at their new public school. I have adult women friends who are scared of having other adult women friends because in the past they’ve been teased, harassed, ignored, or betrayed by other females.
We carry the barbs of past experiences into our adult lives. This means that adults everywhere walk around with childhood hurts and still try to protect those wounds.
As kids, if we were reprimanded for being in our power, then we’ve learned that it’s safer to shy away. We can create stories about how being x, y, or x, results in having no friends, being teased, or being alone.
As adults these stories no longer serve us, but we carry them with us. The stories that once protected us now hold us back from shinning in our purpose. If we want to shine we must let go of the lingering remnants of our old power stories.
“It is safe for me to be powerful,” I say to myself and sit in observation of what the past throws my way.
Because of the years I spent with my eating disorder, I’d grown used to associating power with the energy of aggression. She’d whittled down my sense of self, leaving me powerless without her, thus ruling over me.
The eating disorder made me powerless and so I told myself it must be powerful. But it had a cruel kind of power, one that I no longer admire.
If we’re going to step into our power, the first step requires us to have an idea of what we want to step into.
When I hung out with this nebulous idea of power and began to redefine it, I saw that power is much more than an aggressive force to influence others.
Here are a few of my personal discoveries about power:
- Power is Love. Love is the strongest force.
- Power is taking care of my physical and emotional needs.
- Power can be gentle (like rain, roots growing, a river, a kiss)
- Power is wisdom.
- Power is trusting that God’s got my back.
- I’m powerful when I do the things that light me up and make my heart warm and dancing.
- Power is being at home in my skin.
- Power is friendship, laughter, and smiles.
- Power is having firm boundaries to say yes and no, peacefully.
- Power is leaving situations that don’t feel good in my body.
- Power is creating art, being persistent, being the one to engage.
- Power is trying new, scary things.
- Power is seeing someone’s fontanelle, choosing not to push, and choosing love instead.
- Power can be questioning. The right questions can change the world.
When I meditated on this word, I knew I’d put power in a box. Power is much more than I gave it credit for.
When you feel stuck, or find that you’re not quite living up to your purpose, you may be avoiding your personal power. Here’s a simple exercise to become friends with your power. Close you eyes, listen to this link Out of it All by Helen Jane Long. Allow yourself to explore your idea of power. Say, “It is safe to be powerful,” and discover where the music takes you.
What new discoveries do you have about power?