I bought a new book recently: The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. It talks about how to gain power, how to keep power, how to guard against power, how to recognize power and so on. In reading, I became very concerned with self-power, and by that I mean the power that I myself possess that allows me to be freely happy, positive, accomplished, encouraging, good, self-fulfilled. I started thinking and reflecting on my own life and what power I had, but what began to take precedent in those thoughts was what power I had allowed people and things to take from me.
Power is not always a bad thing, and in retrospect it is not always good. But, I believe that it is a lot easier to obtain power than it is to retain power.
I have a laundry list of things and people that I have actively allowed to deprive me of my power: my emotional power, my mental power, my physical power. Friends have taken my power. Girlfriends have stolen my power. Physical illness, heartache, failure have all stripped me of my power. Other people’s situations and problems have dissipated my power. Society has spit on my power, as I am a triad in the minority world: female, black, gay. The lady who cut me off on the highway ran over my power. My careers have left me powerless. Money has ruined my power. I have even self-inflicted some of my own powerlessness: low self-esteem, impatience, worthlessness, guilt, sadness, regret, lack of control. All of these things have, to an extent, crippled me. And I have no one to blame but myself. I was the co-maker of that power. God is obviously the primary maker, because He tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that He “has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I owned it. It was mine. And I gave it away. I want it back.
My idleness in situations, in conversations, in relationships, and in friendships allowed me to subconsciously become the principal aid in the loss of my own power. At times I have felt helpless, but the root of the feeling was powerlessness, and I associate lack of power with lack of control. And when I feel powerless or helpless or as if I am losing control, I retreat. I shut down. I isolate myself. Isolation is dangerous. For me, because the only thing I have in isolation are my thoughts. And those thoughts in those times are overwhelmingly negative. And they further add to the loss of my own power, which creates weakness, which creates crevices for things and people to seep in and ultimately finish me off. It is a domino affect.
So, how do I take my power back?
- I affirm it: “I want my power back.” I speak things that are not, as if they were! (Romans 4:17)
- I pray for it. There’s this little thing called grace that God keeps leaving on my doorstep at night.
- I actively go and get it. I stop allowing people and things to define me, to weigh on me, to suck life out of me, to hinder me. I take control of my emotions, my thoughts, my joy.
I have had the worst writer’s block over the last month, hence my absence. But, I now know what the cause was and how to fix it. I hope this encourages someone to take control of their life and to retrieve and keep their power. Life is so short and so precious. And we should not spend it void of the people and things that add to our self-worth, our joy, and our self-power, because we have allowed it to be crowded by the people and things that take it from us.