Sunday, March 4, 2012

On Power

Gutsy Smurf
Recently, a good friend asked me an interesting question.

What do you do in your life or what have you done in your life that makes you feel powerful?

I’m not exactly sure where this came from. Perhaps my pal is under the impression that I feel like a powerful person in general. If so, she is mistaken. I possess none of the attributes our society typically associates with power. Money. Prestige. Popularity. Physical strength.

Generally, I don’t even exert my authority over those I might be considered to have power OVER. My piano students. My sons. Sure, every now and then I am forced to play my teacher/parent trump card. But for the most part I trust my students and my children to do the right thing and, generally speaking, they live up to my expectations. Children are awesome that way.

So maybe she was simply wondering what makes ME feel powerful as opposed to what make someone else feel powerful. That I can address.

I feel powerful when I accept my unique strengths and weaknesses and circumstances and determine to be my best self in spite of/because of them.

I feel powerful when I express myself creatively through writing or blogging or beading or making music or teaching, when someone tells me I have left footprints on her heart or made a difference in his little corner of the world.

I feel powerful when I take care of myself, when I meditate and eat nutritious food and challenge my body to run.

I feel powerful when I believe deep inside that I don’t need anyone else’s approval of who I am, what I want, or what I stand for. That applies to my weight, body type, lifestyle choices, spiritual beliefs, and long-term goals.

I know what it is like to feel powerless. I spent more than twenty years with an abusive man; he wanted me to believe that I was unworthy and helpless. He was wrong. Ten years post-divorce, sometimes I feel lonely and frightened and unsure of myself. But all I have to do to make those feelings go away is acknowledge them and they disappear like a vapor.

I have learned to differentiate feelings from choices. I can live in fear or I can choose to feel whole, calm and confident.


What makes you feel powerful?


Julee J. Adams said...

Excellent! What makes me feel powerful? Several things, but I'm not feeling them right now.

I feel like I'm barely hanging on some days, not getting done what I need to do and getting distracted by stupid stuff that wastes time. At work, I feel like I don't have a clue about a third of the time on what to do or even how to start.

Then, I fix something or I write a powerful scene in my notebook or I have a complete stranger thank me for advice or help and I get some of my mojo back. You're right that taking care of yourself is half the battle. I am less able to deal with things on little sleep.

Let's both agree to take care of ourselves and not overdo, K?

Pam Asberry said...

It's funny, Julee; I just left basically the same parting comment on YOUR most recent blog post. We both want a lot; it's hard to have it all AND take care of ourselves. But we will find a way! :-)

S.M. Carrière said...

All those things do more than just make you feel powerful - they make you powerful in fact.

I feel powerful when I chase my dreams and when I'm surrounded by good people.

Surprisingly rare, good people.

In any case, you are powerful, simply by feeling it. Go you!

Pam Asberry said...

Wow, S.M., I never thought about it that way. I love that perspective. Thank you!

Patricia said...

So, I needed to think about it too. These things make me feel powerful: holding my ground when dealing with something or someone that scares me, deciding to "stick it out" on some goal even though it makes me feel like a failure... whereas in the past I walked away, "manipulating the variables" in a day's worth of decisions to get me what I want, not making the same horrific mistake twice, being around powerful people, speaking up for something you know is not right, when no one else will, achieving a goal I never thought I could do, stepping through fear. Like a lot of people, I am feeling pretty powerless at the moment. You did a great job on yours! I think this was a great blog for thinking of new things too.

Pam Asberry said...

Good for you, Pat! Now focus on doing those things that make you feel powerful because, like S.M. pointed out, doing those things in fact MAKES you powerful. Success breeds success. Good luck!

Dan said...

I had this long discertation regarding this post. I've decided to save it for my own blog and spare you having to decide if it was worthy of your blog.

It boiled down to this. You are powerful so long as you think you are and you do and are. Also... You HAVE left footprints. In my life as well as others.

Thank you for being who you are.

Dan said...

Sorry for the misspelled word. "Dissertation"

Pam Asberry said...

Dan, anything you have to say is worthy of my blog. As Popeye says, I am what I am and that's all what I am. And I'm grateful when that resonates with another human being from time to time.