For each one of us power can mean something different. It can have both positive and negative connotations. On the positive side, there is the power to have an effect on one’s life and on the negative side it can mean being controlled. The meaning of power here is; the ability to have an influence over one’s life and to have the power of choice.
This is not to say that one has power over everything and yet it also doesn’t mean that one is powerless either. The mind likes to work in extremes, but we can all see that life is rarely black or white. And that what the mind projects onto the world does not always reflect reality.
Firstly, in order for one to recognise that they have the power of choice and influence over their life, there has to be a certain level of awareness. And this includes an awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations and actions.
From here one will see that along with other factors; these three aspects are playing a large role in creating how their life is and on their perception of life
If one is not aware of what is going on for them, they will not know when they are regressing to an earlier stage in their life. And this could be when they were a child. Here one will behave, feel and think like they did all those years ago.
From this place it is likely that one will feel powerless and as having no choice. Here one will take on the role of the wounded inner child; that has to be healed. And this inner child only has power in relation to its caregivers; it does not possess a sense of individual empowerment.
The caregivers were the ones that were responsible and so for one to regress to this stage, it is only normal to blame another or others for what is going on. This can cause one to perceive others as the same authority figures and as having more power.
However, in order to recognise and own what one is feeling, thinking and the behaviour that one is carrying out; one needs to have functional boundaries as well as awareness. Because without boundaries one will not know where they begin and end or where another begins and ends. And without awareness one is unlikely to have boundaries.
This will cause great difficulty in knowing and being responsible for what is going on at an individual level. And to be able to own what is going on in ones reality.
This could also be called dissociation. Here the ego mind cuts off from what is going on inside, by using this defence mechanism. And this will cause one to be unaware of the fact that what going on inside, is often being mirrored externally.
How Does This Look?
When one has boundaries that are more or less nonexistent; it will be easier for other person or people to take advantage of them. And from here one is then likely to be compromised on a regular basis.
This of course will lead to feelings of anger, resentment, frustration, powerlessness and numerous other feelings, emotions, thoughts and sensations. And based on what has happened; these feelings and emotions are often justified.
Processing and Releasing
So although they need to be processed and released in the right way and in the time that one is ready; by holding onto these emotions and feelings one is giving their power away to the people or experiences that triggered them.
This is because ones attention is going into the experience and onto the other person and by doing this one is giving up their personal power and the power over one’s mind. Constantly putting their attention into the past and bypassing ones present point of power.
The mind will hold onto these experiences where one has been taken advantage of and compromised. So why does the mind hold onto what is disempowering and can only make one feel powerless?
To the mind there are only ever two options. On one side there is the experience of everything that has happened; which leads to feelings such as, revenge and wanting to ‘get even’. And on the other side there is the idea that by not getting even the other person will be let off and potential commit the same offence again.
When it comes to the identity of who one is; the mind has only the past to base itself on. And no matter whether the past is an inaccurate guide to who one is or not, it will be used to define ones perceptions of who one is and of one’s perception of the world.
But the mind exists through conditioning and is not the true self. It can appear to be the self, even though it is meant to be an assistant to the self; nothing more and nothing less.
It doesn’t have to be this way; there is another way. And this other way is to be the observer of the mind. This means that the experience is not ignored or denied; it is acknowledged and validated.
And along with this process, the lessons are learned. Where ones boundaries are weak and vulnerable; one creates healthy and more functional ones in their place.
To be able to move on from the prisons that the mind creates and to move out of the cycles of anger, dysfunctional behaviour and other emotions; one needs to forgive. This doesn’t mean that the other person is let off and that what has happened is being forgotten about. Because what one feels; is an individual experience and not truly known by another person.
By holding onto these destructive feelings and emotions, not only is ones state of mind affected; ones health will also be compromised. And although the other person or people might be influenced by the feelings that one feels, the real impact will be on one’s own mind and body.
The act of forgiveness is not a something the mind does; this is something the heart expresses.
When the Time Is Right
As I have mentioned above in regards to timing, this is a process that can’t be rushed or forced. It can only happen when one is ready to move on and forgive themselves for what has happened. To know that they did the best they could in the situation. And that the other person’s actions probably came about through their own lack of awareness and as a result of their own unprocessed pain.
It might not feel right to forgive another; one might not be ready to do so. What is important is one tune into what they are ready for and what they are not ready for. And at the right time, it will come into place.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.