“I lost my power in this world, cuz I did not use it.” Lindsey Buckingham
This is one of my favorite Lindsey Buckingham lines to ponder, because it is undoubtedly true. When I am in the midst of a lament about or entangled in a situation where I believe my power has been taken by somebody else, I am reminded of this song verse and it gives me pause, prompting me to rethink my stance. Um, WHO is the reason behind why I feel powerless? gulp…it can only be me.
If you’re like me, the wheels in your head are spinning, trying to come up with a scenario in which somebody else was the reason that you lost your power. Boy, it sure seems like it happens. I mean, I can certainly think of many instances where I believed someone else had taken my power, allowing them to assume a position of power which at that time I believed to be a power over me. Think about it all you want, but you will be led back to one solid truth: nobody else has the ability to take your power. I’m not saying there are not people out there who may not try to convince you by their actions and behavior that they have power over you, but that is a fallacy. You are no longer a child under the supervision of an adult who is in charge of you and responsible for your survival. YOU are in charge of you and perfectly able to assure your own survival. We may shy away from this realization because acknowledging it makes us aware that we are truly accountable for the life we’re living and therefore we can no longer rest the blame for our circumstances on someone else. No more, “I can’t do this because he won’t let me” or “she’ll make my life hell if I don’t do such and such” or “I don’t know what I’ll do, because I’m waiting on what he does first.” Obviously, I understand this thinking because I once subscribed to it myself. But since declaring my life a no bullshit zone, I had to look at it honestly and make the call: bullshit. I lost my power in this world ‘cuz I did not use it. PERIOD.
So, just how do you go about using your power? You begin with a willingness to be uncomfortable. You must decide to stand in your truth no matter how frightened you are and be okay with the fact that others may not be okay with that. Say what? Sorry, let me kick it up a notch for clarity: you have to be okay with pissing people off- it’s non-negotiable. I say this because people who aren’t using their power are generally pleasers who are afraid of confrontation and rocking the boat. We believe we are protecting ourselves by trying to stay five steps ahead of other people’s reactions to something we may do or say. The question is, protect ourselves from what? As I said above: you are responsible for your survival. You are not a helpless child relying on an adult to keep you alive, so what are you trying to protect yourself from? Are you trying to protect yourself from an unnamed danger in your past that is no longer relevant in your life? If so, it is time to name it, claim it, and cast it away from your present life. If the danger you’re protecting yourself from is a current part of your life, then it is more imperative than ever that you grasp what I’m telling you here. Understanding your power is your only hope for freedom. Ask yourself this: which is scarier- finally standing up to that dragon for once and for all or spending your entire life nervously looking around corners for him? You’ve got the power! But you must choose to use it.
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