I grew up thinking power meant power OVER other people and the circumstances of life. Control. But we will never control all our life circumstances. We will never control other people. So does this mean we can never be powerful?
What if real power has nothing to do with control?
All the mystics and sages tell us to be "in" this world but not "of" it. This means we play the game of being physical. We acknowledge that we have needs and desires and that we we act, we react, we move through this world. But we also acknowledge that we are spiritual beings that have been here before, and will be here again.
We acknowledge the truth that anything we try to control or hold onto will one day slip through our grasp. Everything here in the physical is temporary. Look at around at your possessions. You take none of them with you when you die. Do you still think you own them?
Being in the world but not of it means we don't get sucked into the grasping parts of ourselves. As soon as are grasping we are attached, and that is not power. That is being the victim, that is being in lack. We do this because a part of us is so scared and thinks our lives need to look like the images in our heads and what we imagine is in other people's heads.
Following our grasping will never bring us true power. It might bring us momentary ego-hits. Short-lived delight at something that goes our way, like a tasty snack, but the delight is gone almost as soon as it has arrived, and we are immediately needing the next one. Where is the power in that?
Like Mooji says so beautifully, “There can never be a a true ego success story.” What he is saying is that the ego will always lead us into some unhappiness eventually, and it has to, otherwise we would never even seek the deeper happiness and love that is inside us, brewing and bubbling constantly below all our ego wounds and ego shields. Below all our grasping. If following the ego made us truly happy, we would never find our real selves, our Soul, while we are really alive.
Finding and living and creating from our Soul is what feels so joyous, regardless of the circumstances around us. That is power.
The power to watch as life unfolds. The power to remain centered as a storm swirls around us. The power to let others play whatever game they are playing while we calmly make the next move that is a match for our own truth. The quiet power that just knows. That receives effortlessly. That gives freely. That rests in presence. That brings joy. That feels like Love. That creates what we love by being it.
I've had glimpses of this power and it's like the ancient Sufi poet Rumi describes, it's like being drunk on God.
Practicing Our Real Power
If power is not about anything outside us, then this means power is an internal process.
This is why every sage and guru tells us to look within. None of them are telling us to get better at marketing, or persuasion, or to get rich. They know this is not real power. Because we don't get to keep anything outside us. It all changes it all moves. But inside, this is where we really live, forever. This is where our deepest sustainable joy and happiness is. This is our power we can bring to the world and create the world in its image.
Look how happy and powerful a true guru is! Some of them own nothing and they affect thousands or millions of people without barely "trying". People seek them out from all over the world. Their teachings get turned into videos, they get asked to do interviews. Recordings of their teachings have been passed down thousands of years. They are still human but in ecstasy with Life and manifesting crazy things we would all love to manifest. That is power.
I'm not saying we all need to be gurus. No way. Not at all. But their lives show us one aspect of what is possible. They teach us that living that way in connection with that power is our natural state. If Life is this, then our Souls are this, and this is our most pure state.
So then why are we not feeling it? Why do we feel so disempowered?
Because we’ve distributed our life force (power) in the form of emotional wounds.
Each of our wounds is a piece of our consciousness stuck in a wounded state. It is a fragment that holds energy. We are each like a thousand pieces inside, each piece with it’s own agenda. Some working against other pieces. Some are happy, some are sad, some are scared, some are hiding deep inside, some are stuck in a childlike state, some feel completely squashed, some want to die. Of course we don’t feel Life’s power. Our power is diluted and distributed among all the pieces of us, holding wounded emotional charge, and some of those pieces don’t even want to be alive.
These are all the wounded parts of us. As Teal Swan says, Enlightenment is simply integrating all our wounds and becoming whole. It is having the consciousness of Oneness. This is seeing and feeling the power of Life, the real power available to us. We struggle to reach this with all of our wounds.
Every time we received an emotional wound that was too much to bear at that time, or that we resisted, we create a subconscious lock. These are the source of all of our judgements and expectations. These pieces of us are constantly holding power because they are stuck and believe they are keeping us safe. They are struggling and resisting life because life is scary to them. This takes massive energy.
For example, that one time you were laughed at in public when you were a child created an emotional shock. You felt shame and rejected so harshly, but you couldn’t show it. It hurt too much to feel it at the time. So you buried it. The Life energy of that experience, in the form of emotional pain got buried in our subconscious nervous system. Now you have a rule inside you that says "never attract attention in public." As an adult, you are now terrified of public speaking. You judge harshly anyone who attracts too much attention to themselves. You crave people to give you attention and approval but won't let yourself express. This part of you is very unhappy.
Every time we heal an emotional wound, the energy that is stored and locked up in our subconscious is released and returns to us as power we can use.
The fractured piece of our consciousness returns to us. We become more whole. Which means we become more flowing with Life. More of our Life force is now coursing through us, and we consciously experience a difference in the world. New ideas show up out of nowhere. Actions we could never take before are now possible. Opportunities we didn’t see before are now everywhere. Our relationships change. Since relationships are how we get everything we want, this is good. In the vacuum left by the healed wound the natural joy rises up automatically. This is what is possible with deep emotional work.
This is why we are here. As Ram Das says, we incarnated here to end suffering. This is how you do it. Not by controlling the outside but by embracing the internal healing process that ends your own suffering. You do this by healing your core wounds that are fractured pieces of your power. By returning those pieces to wholeness. By accessing more of your joy, no matter what is happening around you. By becoming more filled up with Life and able to consciously act on it.
This process is why we have bodies and we hurt physically and emotionally. We are Souls giving ourselves a physical map to reclaim our power. It is a beautiful process. This is the process we came here to experience.
I struggle with this process all the time, because emotions can hurt so much. I feel fear and pain and sadness and I cry. In the middle of it I feel lost and I question the point of any of this. I question the point of even trying to live. But I've done it enough to know that these thoughts just come from the fractured parts of myself that are in pain. I am bigger than all these parts. No action is required. I just sit and be with these feelings. I let myself cry. I let myself moan. I let my body slump or shake. I let myself scream. I let myself punch pillows. I let myself surrender to the feelings and let them come. I practice Emotional Surrender.
What I notice is that the more I just see, accept, and embrace my feelings fully, that my pain is different than suffering. I can feel pain and I suffer less and less each time. This is power.
And when the emotion is done I feel a rush of lightness on the other side, or sometimes just peace. Or sometimes nothing and then I notice a big difference in my thinking 3 weeks later. I feel more connected with Life and my truth. I feel more of the oneness and that I could do anything. New ideas come. New opportunities show up. Because I have pulled more of my power into myself. I have reclaimed it.
This is why I sometimes like to call Life, "The Reclaim Game."
We are given constant opportunities to reclaim our power. Every upset is an opportunity to get our power back. Every time we notice that we feel shitty, that is a fragment waiting to be reclaimed. Every time we notice ourselves judging, that is a fragment waiting to be reclaimed. Every time we hurt, that is a fragment of ourselves waiting to be reclaimed.
Most of us avoid our pain and constantly distract ourselves from it. This is why we never find our true power.
Your true power is in your power as a healer, to heal yourself. And what heals emotional wounds? Accepting them, embracing, loving the parts of you that hurt until they are done. Then you get your power back.
This is you using what Life shows you to love more. This is a game where you use love to reclaim your power.
If you do this, you too will get a glimpse of that ecstasy that has nothing to do with getting anything, and nothing with circumstances going your mind's way, and nothing to do with control. I've caught a few long glimpses in my life. It's so powerful.