The Strength and Safety of Practicing Real Power
The Strength and Safety of Practicing Real Power
  • Posted: December 30, 2013
  • 767 words
Key Lesson

Going into painful confusion over the appearance of any problem is really the avoidance of realizing some temporary limitation in one's understanding of oneself... and nothing else.


More times a day than we want to acknowledge, we feel powerless. In such moments, for whatever reason, we see our situation as being without a solution. Confusion starts coloring our considerations. Frustration grows and surrounds us, and we find ourselves imprisoned behind a wall of fearful expectations. But we need not, and must not accept being sentenced to a life of such limitation. We can uncover the root of this powerless feeling -- and release ourselves from it -- by discovering the nature of the illusion that creates it. For most of us the show gets started like this:

"Why did he have to do that?" -- or -- "Life isn't fair!" -- or -- "They took this away from me." Whatever the trigger may be at the moment... feeling powerless has a thousand reasons but, as we are going to discover, the same cause.

Let's set the record straight: whatever these "reasons," they are not the source of our pressing stress! The first thing we have to see is that these moments are events, not powers. This means they are passing conditions, not prisons. With this fact in mind, the real question we must now ask ourselves isn't how do we regain our lost power, but what is it about these kinds of events that causes us to feel powerless?

The feeling of being powerless has nothing to do with what someone else did or didn't do. And the feeling of being powerless has nothing whatsoever to do with what you did or didn't do at any point in your life -- regardless of your present conditions.

What's the first thing we see when we hear news that runs counter to what we want? The evidence suggests we don't really "see" anything at all; instead our attention is seized, absorbed by a familiar negative reaction whose only wish is that the unwanted moment just go away. This resistance acts within and upon our consciousness as a "blinding" and binding force, so all we can "see" is our own negativity over what we wish wasn't happening! In moments like these we are literally looking at what we don't want to be there.

When expectations get dashed, we don't see new possibilities unfolding; all we see is the way things should have gone. We don't see what is with all of its positive possibilities; instead we see only the negative...what is not. What these discoveries reveal is as startling as it is promising: the only reason we feel powerless is because we have become the captive of a mind resisting itself, an involuntary prisoner of a mind struggling to escape its own negative images. And there is nothing but powerlessness in this resistance because by law whatever we resist... persists!

There is only one way to liberate ourselves from the confines of this unconscious relationship; we need a new awareness of what it costs us to remain in its captivity.

What possible good does it do to resent any moment for unfolding as it does, to wish it didn't happen? Does it change the moment in any positive way? No, it does not. Does our pain prove our position as being the right one? To the contrary: the more we don't want the moment in which we find ourselves, the more we lend credibility to that moment as being overpowering. This false perception then strengthens our negative sense of self as the one being overpowered by it.

What is real power? Real power is knowing we already possess everything we need to succeed in the moment, as we would wish it. Real power lifts us above challenging circumstances; it shelters us from those fears that want to drag us down into troubled thoughts about tomorrow. In a word, real power is the quiet but certain understanding that everything that comes to us works for the good of us, no matter what it is.

We can practice this true, new power anytime we wish to have its strength and safety as our own. We start each time by remembering that ours is the power to choose what we will and will not give our power to.

Now we can do something radically new: rather than give ourselves over to the habitual reaction of resisting the moment, we remember the truth that sets us free; ours is the power to live from the power of our choosing. Said slightly differently, but equally true: we are created with the power to surrender our sense of powerlessness and, in exchange for this sacrifice, realize a life without stress and strife.

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