Power in the animal kingdom is determined by a creature’s survival skills. For almost all living beings, the capacity to survive is determined by several key factors such as strength, adaptability, size, speed and intelligence. Based on Charles Darwin’s evolutionary principle, ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘fittest’ relates to specimens that are in the best shape and health.
Lions are master hunters because of their strength. Cheetahs get ahead of the game because of their speed. Ants and bees survive because of their industriousness. Roaches and other insects display superior adaptability in even the harshest conditions. Birds have wings that help them soar high.
For us humans, our power lies in our advanced intelligence and curiosity. Unlike other living creatures in the animal kingdom, our range of power isn’t limited to physical characteristics and mental agility, but it goes a level deeper, into the spiritual and ethereal realm.
Every single interaction and experience that we have is a spiritual opportunity for us to choose between love and fear. Whichever path you choose to take will have a direct impact on your personal vibe.
On the surface, this may not seem like the case. Our circumstances seem limited and mislead us to believe that we are powerless. There might be people around us who believe are controlling our fate. We could feel a lack of power because we don’t have the looks, money, status, wardrobe, connections, or whatever we think brings a sense of significance.
The truth is that we are the source of our feelings of powerlessness because of how we relate to our own sense of power. If we’re open to seeing things from a symbolic perspective, we’ll see that we have more power than we realize. Your sense of power has nothing to do with what others say and do to you – rather, it lies in your ability to make healthy choices.
You always have the power to choose what you think, do and believe in. You channel your power every time you decide to take action and react to others behavior. By following this principle, you’ll become increasingly confident in your ability to manifest your own reality.
This dynamic form of inner power is much more potent than the superficial kind that’s associated with money, status and beauty, which many of us want. None of the shallow symbols of power mean anything if you don’t believe in yourself and if you’re not living in alignment with your truth.
Power comes from being yourself, standing your ground and doing what’s best for you. You reverberate with power whenever you choose to walk in the pursuit of truth and integrity. You don’t have to use force or aggression to intimidate others to get what you want. You can ask for what you’re worth and fight for justice from with a peaceful and collaborative spirit, just as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King did.
Yet this is easier said than done. Hardly any of us are capable of standing in our power at all times. There are times when we’ll relinquish our power and give it away without realizing that we’re doing so. Depending on how aware you are, you may do it once in a while or you may find yourself doing it often. Over the years, you may have developed a belief system that gets you trapped into a pattern of giving away your power.
The unfortunate reality is that there are plenty of individuals who would be happy to take advantage of our inability to tap into our power. If we aren’t careful, these toxic individuals will find ways to capitalize on our weaknesses for their personal gain. It’s essential for us to become conscious of the ways that we sabotage ourselves and reclaim our power.
Living in a state of powerlessness can also harm us on a physiological level. According to medical intuitive, Caroline Myss, every time we give our power away, we are psychically drained and we experience energy leaks and imbalances that lead to diseases, sickness and other body ailments or an overall sense of weakness.
This occurs because we’re energy beings with a strong mind-body connection. We need to listen to our intuition because it will always let us know when we have compromised our power. Myss says that personal power is ultimately about learning how to not negotiate your self-worth for the sake of someone else or selling yourself short for a job.
If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re giving your power away in your interactions, I’ve put together a list of the five subtle indicators that will help you figure it out:
1. You stay in situations and relationships that don’t fulfill you: When we choose to stay in situations and relationships that don’t fulfill us, we not only waste our time but we also drain our spirit. This occurs because we choose to ignore the fact that we aren’t aligned with our values, and we tolerate behaviors that do not honor our truth. There are many people who allow fear of change to control them, and trap themselves in the process. They believe that they are victims of their circumstances and they find it easier to complain about their situation rather than change it so that they move away from the toxicity.
2. You don’t speak up for yourself: Every time you fail to defend yourself and fight for your rights in the face of unfairness and injustice, you give away your power. A person with a strong sense of self-worth will never allow someone to say disrespectful or mean things to them, and will be quick to either build healthy boundaries or to cut these people out of their life altogether. You won’t feel the urge to please, perfect, pretend or prove yourself if you aren’t needy for approval and validation. You’ll be brave enough to confront others about the things that bother you and stand up for what you think is right.
3. You’re unwilling to forgive and forget: Buddha said that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I think this perfectly sums up the effect of holding onto anger and grudges. I’m not saying that we should ignore or minimize hurt feelings – it’s important that we acknowledge and process our pain in a healthy way – but a big part of our healing does involve forgiveness. This doesn’t right the wrong done by the people who hurt us – it simply liberates us from the pain. Forgiveness is like a spiritual detox that allows us to move on from past disappointments.
4. You sacrifice too much for others: Relationships offer us a chance to share our love and be of service to another being. Displaying generosity is an honorable and noble way of living, as long as we don’t get drained out in the process. We have to be careful about not adopting the role of a martyr and sacrificing ourselves at the expense of what we need to feel whole and nurtured. It’s important to place limitations on how much we’re willing to give of ourselves, and have the discernment to recognize when we’re overstretched and being taken advantage of. If you’re always trying to rescue others and be their savior, you’ll feel run down and experience a significant loss of energy, which could have been put to better use.
5. You wait around for things to happen: When fear is the driving force, you tend to wait around, wishing for things to happen, instead of taking action. Not doing anything to change your circumstances and assuming a passive stance in life creates a sense of powerlessness. We have to develop the drive and confidence to take the initiative to make things happen. We have to overcome the inertia that comes from fear and become proactive about pursuing whatever excites us and brings meaning into our lives. Eliminate those ‘if’s’ and ‘buts’ and step into your power and create a life that deeply fulfills you!
Deep down, all of us want to feel powerful. We’re intuitively aware of the power we have to create our desired reality. But it is up to us to decide whether or not we’ll reclaim our power and use it to become a source of inspiration and love in the world.
As spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson said:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Are there any places in your life where you’re giving away your power? How can you take back your power?
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