Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Since October 12th, 400,000 people in the Buffalo, NY area have been without power for varying lengths of time. 5,000 people from around the country have been working feverishly to fix downed lines and restore the lost power. Their efforts continue, with an estimated completion date of Sunday October 22nd. Everywhere I go, people are asking, "Do you have power?" I am keenly aware that no one is phrasing the question as, "Do you have electricity?" There is a message and a metaphor in the question. There is a lesson to be learned and an opportunity to be taken. If enough people grasp the message and take the opportunity, this area will shift on its axis.
The message is about personal power and the need to cultivate it to a much greater degree. Personal power is the ability to live a balanced life, largely free of chaos. Personal power is the ability to respond to a situation in a self-supportive manner, instead of reacting to a situation and feeling victimized. Having personal power means you know how to take care of all your needs. It means you know when to ask for help and when you can help yourself. It means maintaining personal boundaries and having the courage to enforce them when someone would seek to infringe their will on you (however well intentioned they appear to be). It means speaking up for yourself. It means being pro-active in getting what would support you. It means having enough self-respect to ask and get clarity about things that matter to you.
Personal power comes when you feed yourself properly. When you have enough candles and batteries in your emergency stash. When you walk away from abusive circumstances. When you fill your own coffers first and give generously from the ensuing overflow, instead of draining your personal energy on behalf of some one else.
Personal power comes when you stop being so blasted critical of yourself. When you stop trying to control others around you and let them be who they were born to be. When you stop denying your gut instincts and let yourself be who you were born to be.
Personal power comes when you extend love instead of criticism. When you extend love instead of sarcasm. When you simply extend love instead of withholding it.
To live without power is to live an uncomfortable life. You need it, both personal and electrical, to take command of the vast opportunities this world has to offer. To take command of yourself and light up our life.