One of the alarming trends of our time is that more and more people feel powerless. Powerlessness seems to be the root of all negative emotions. Whether it is the large divide between rich and poor, the disturbing political setting, the controversy over climate change or the increase in violent action by thugs and the police gun violence – the world is frightening and all we, citizens of America, do is to stand by and watch. We are guilty about the past and fearful of the future. We are depressed about our situation today and angry because the prospects of change seem remote.
Guilt. Depression. Fear. Anger. All stem from the feeling of powerlessness. We are imprisoned by these strong negative emotions. As a result, we accept and tolerate a miserable life. Afterall, we face daily struggles on a personal level, such as a demanding job, a stressful relationship, unpaid student loans and the social-media-driven fear of missing out, and it is no wonder that a rising number of men and women feel so overwhelmed with life, that all they want to do is to check out by taking drugs, alcohol or medication. Why not find something better.
The difficulty with feeling powerless is that it smothers our innate desire and potential to change and improve ourselves and the situations we are in. The biggest problem with powerlessness is, that it is often an illusion.
We can overcome the paralyzing sense of powerlessness, by changing the dynamic to face our challenges from a place of courage and optimism. We do not get robbed of our power we give it away!
- You let others make decisions because you do not trust yourself.
- You make yourself silent and invisible to not get judged and to avoid conflict.
- You tell yourself that you have to hold onto an unfulfilling job or a dysfunctional relationship because you do not believe you can have something better.
- You deal with disappointments by putting yourself down and questioning your abilities.
- You focus more on what is not working in your life and the “what if’s” of the future, than spending time to appreciate and embrace all your blessings of the day.
- You make excuses for those who put you down or treat you as their punching ball.
- You complain about your challenges but tell yourself there is nothing you can do to change them.
- Your lack of control makes you angry.
Personal power is an energy, which is based on the proper alignment of mind, body, and spirit and leads to confidence, competence and compassion for others and oneself. You know that you are in touch with your personal power when you feel safe and secure within yourself and take responsibility for your life. When you trust that you have the wisdom and capabilities to learn and grow from anything life brings you. And personal power means that you allow yourself to discover and express your true, authentic self while being appreciative, patient, and compassionate to all beings in your life including yourself. This is not easy or everyone would do it.
As earlier expressed, being powerless is often an illusion. Let us say you did not get the promotion you hoped for or that lovely lass you met on Tuesday is not taking your call. You could argue that you are truly powerless here because somebody else made the choice. Yes, you do not have the power to control others. But, your real power lies in choosing to either let your mind latch on to these situations and continuously wonder “why?,” “what did I do wrong?” or you could simply let it go. Letting go does not mean rolling over and giving up. It just means that you decide to accept the situations as they are without letting yourself be defined by them.
- Whatever happened does not say anything about your intrinsic worthiness,
- that you have the innate potential to learn and grow from any situation,
- that you are grateful for situations like this because they make your determination to learn to love and accept yourself unconditionally even stronger.
And then there is God. When we have power and are in control, or at least believe we are in control. We do not have much need for God. We do not need to examine ourselves critically or see just what we are made of spiritually. But when powerlessness comes, we are forced to see what we are made of, what matters most, and on what or whom we rely. This is a time of reckoning. When we live in our powerless moments, God can get to the deep places of our being and more thoroughly work in us.
When we are most weak, vulnerable, and powerless, in a somewhat miraculous way, God’s strength becomes real to us, making us strong. Not only does our powerlessness bring us closer to God, God’s glory is revealed through grace. It is often said, that out of suffering comes change and growth. The power we feel through these growth periods comes from God. God wants us to be meek so we can learn, grow, and do His will so we can truly inherit the earth now.
Meekness is powerlessness that is part of a person’s developed character, not forced upon them. It is intentionally exercised. It is restraint by a person who “can but won’t” stand out, exert influence, leverage strength or demand attention. It is an exemplary characteristic … for someone else to exhibit. We like meek people because they refuse to take too much attention from us or insert themselves too much into our story.
Exercising meekness means that we render ourselves intentionally powerless. We subordinate our will to something or someone greater than us, God. We seek the will of someone else rather than our own. Meek people are not small because someone makes them small. They just realize that something greater is what they need to be about. They realize that someone greater is present that should be acknowledged.
Meekness does not mean that a person is insecure or lacking in self-esteem or talent. It is admittedly difficult to have words to say, but not say them if it is better to withhold them. The meek can do that. It is hard to have opportunity and not to seize it. The meek can see what the opportunity will produce for good or bad. It is excruciatingly difficult for many to have resources and withhold spending them on whatever a person wants to spend them. The meek will look at the bigger picture and choose how to use resources for larger gain than personal gain alone. It is rare to see someone with power who refuses to wield it for personal advantage for the sake of something bigger. Meekness does just that. It is intentional powerlessness when the potential is present.
So take stock of yourself—do an inventory of the good things happening in your life and make note of things that need to change. You may be powerless but God is not. With God and the Spirit inside me, I have power in my life right now. I have the power to overcome temptation, change my life for the better, be healed, forgive, and enough power to seek God’s will for my life. The real purpose of hope is to allow us the capacity to suffer with wisdom, calmness, and generosity. The ego wants to separate and seek material success. For the soul, it is purpose and meaning. Act with a hopeful heart.
Often God comes to me disguised as my life and my life is a pathway built by actions I have chosen to take. I form an intention to walk the right path, but that intention is not real until I start walking and act. The only power I have to choose between right and wrong is in the present moment when I make the decision to act. By seeking God’s will I receive the power of the Spirit to stay on the right path.
Think big and ask big! What a better way to live.