A stinging email delivered a powerful life lesson this week. My initial reaction was to rationalize my way out or run from the truth of the words I was reading. Noticing my discomfort, I took some deep breaths, slowed my rapid fire response, and stared this lesson square in the face.
This powerful lesson was about POWER itself.
I have a love hate relationship with POWER. I both respect it and detest it, or perhaps fear it, others and my own. I embrace it and then I want to run and hide from it.
Some grab it. Some steal it. Some shy away from it. Others know they possess it yet are reluctant to own it. That’s me.
Power itself simply is. It’s a force of life to be reckoned with, a force that can be used for good or bad depending on the moral compass and integrity of the one who is wielding it. Power is what makes the time clock of our lives tick.
Disowning one’s power feels weak, victimizing, lacking in some way. It’s a way out. Failing to own it seems like it only hurts the one refusing to take ownership. In reality though, it hurts the ones we inadvertently dump onto when we fail to hold it ourselves. I know because I did this today. From the stinging email I received, it was evident to me that I caused unintended suffering or annoyance. My pride took a pretty good hit too.
It was in a moment of rashness when slowing myself down and taking time to be more thoughtful just didn’t seem in the cards for me, much less taking on the added weight of responsibility that owning my power would have required. When I do this, I feel momentary relief followed by more long lasting resentment.
Yesterday this pattern resulted in burdening someone else a little less close to me with something I was meant to carry. It made the pattern a little easier to see. In the moment when I made the knee-jerk response and passed on taking ownership, I denied myself the opportunity to hold the power myself and the privilege of wielding it responsibly. I feared that I just didn’t have it in me. I was too busy, too stretched, too taxed, not feeling enough for the demands of the task at hand.
Had I slowed time down, stopped to reflect and feel it out more, I would have seen that the mere act of stepping into it and rising to the occasion would have opened up new awareness about the power I already possess. It would have also likely summoned the resources I needed to see the task through. Power is there already. It’s in me already as fully as it is in anyone else. The only difference lays in the degree to which I acknowledge it, accept it, embrace it and own it.
The sting of being called out was biting enough to shift this age old bad habit. As painful and humiliating as it was, I am grateful to the one who called me out and helped me see the negative ripple of dis-ownership.
I was asked “Why did you do this? Why did you dump on me?”
Where would I begin to respond? Being the oldest of five it was simply easier to just throw the towel in and say “because mom and dad said so!” But it feels like my soul gravitated to that response because I had been responding that way for lifetimes.
Deeply worn grooves are hard to side step. But I have side stepped countless other grooves before. This email was my call to side step this one now too and possess the power that was gifted to me upon my arrival here.
If only the emailer knew the lion she was waking! My Leo is rising and I’m ready for her to roar. The world needs well intended folk to acknowledge, step into, and take responsibility for what has always already been there and use it for good.
I say a resounding YES to the Life Force and POWER that animates this hunk of clay and the voice that speaks through it. I don’t know where it will lead me but I’m ready for the adventure!
What groove are you presently stuck in? Are you ready to side step it too? Will you join me in saying YES to the power that yearns to course through you too?
I'm Kelly Isabelle.
Full-time workin' mama & spouse aspiring to live a slowly paced, sustainably minded, creatively expressed, clutter-free life shared with kindred folk.