Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Voice of Power

My world, growing up with powerful women, created a sense within me that I was pretty powerful. Then, I left home before I really understood what that meant (because I thought I was an adult and powerful at 17) and I was quite sure I had the answers. I didn't...but the sense of determination that fueled my life came from this powerful sense that I witnessed as a young girl growing up. The power, however, was always yielded over other people. I have had to learn, through a life that is for all of us very messy, that power is something to be engaged in within me and has nothing to do with what anyone else in the world chooses or does not choose to do.

If you have ever been in a room with someone who knows this power then you will know what I mean. Years ago, my husband negotiated with Caesar Chavez. When Mr. Chavez walked into our office and I met him, I knew he was powerful. I have not been graced to sit in the presence of the Dalai Lama, but I am told that his presence has enough power to fill a football stadium. I am quite sure that Ghandi and Martin Luther King emitted this essence, the fragrance the flower knows intimately. Personalities become personalities because they know this power...Oprah, Sting, George Clooney, President Obama, President Bush, Margaret Thatcher. Their influence in the world flowered because each individual understood that their only real power was in how they held to their inner truth. They intimately understood/understand that it is not what happens, but what happens within them. They all learned (or knew innately) that it was their response or reaction that drove their lives forward. They do/did not necessarily try to influence people, people are/were influenced by them because of their ability to harness and master their emotional responses to life. Each are reflective in their fields, even if you do not care for their influence. The inner power in their life is their mastery...and we are all drawn to mastery, whether it is delivered in the form of a picture, a song, or a speech.

The only path I know to this kind of power is self-reflection and diving deeply under the wave of my own life's circumstances. From Jesus Christ to Buddha to the many masters who have walked on our earth, one of their singularly identical messages is that we must die to our desires to be reborn. I needed to die to the idea that I had power over anyone. In the learning of this painful process, what I have discovered is that the person I was trying to have power over rose to their own dignity and self-reliance while at the same time peace rose within me and healed my heart. It does not mean that I do not care; it does not mean that I don't give voice to my concerns and ideas. The difference is this: I am learning to live with my inner discomfort when life looks differently than I want it to look. To use the power within me calms my inner storms. Only when I say to my stormy waves, "Be calm" that answers come to me. Power is only power when I master myself.

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