Reflections on Power

comments 40
Course Ideas

Power is a word that evokes a strange spectrum of thought forms and connotations, reactions and prejudices.  I think this is largely because the power we are most familiar with is the type that involves a victim and an oppressor.  We view power as the ability to cause events to occur despite the competing will of another.  That is our definition of power– a definition that makes perfect sense in the minds of the separate and uncertain.  But this is not power at all– not in the absolute sense– for being predicated upon falsehood it cannot express what is true.  Real power is the expression of unity, relatedness, and truth.

There’s another definition of power we entertain sometimes, and that’s the idea of an occult power, the power of action at a distance.  Ostensibly wielded only by a few– by the ones who know the secrets and perhaps have sold their souls to obtain them– this version of power carries with it the threat of sorcery and unreality.  The word power sometimes brings to mind the notion that a true power would be magical or supernatural.  If we could wield miracles at will, that would be power.  But this idea is also of no account, and besmirches the nature of true power– the spontaneous expression of truth.  Action at a distance takes many forms, but is also meaningless when it is not an expression of unity, relatedness and truth.

We could stop here and leave this idea of power alone, but I think it’s important to continue onward.  I think it’s important because the recreation of our experience in this realm depends upon our willingness as individuals to offer the true power of who we are.  This is the power of who we are in truth.  Power isn’t something we wield, but something we become.  Power has nothing to do with competing wills or desires, or sorcery or special effects, and everything to do with opening ourselves to the expression of the goodness alive within us.  We become powerful by dissolving our false ideas of who we are, our false ideas of power, and the patently false idea that we understand the full parameters of what is possible of our existence.  I think power is important to discuss, because without it we will not be able to heal the various tragedies of our current  individual and collective experience.  In a sense, it is the withholding of our authentic power that enables the world as we see it to exist at all.

A key step for each of us is to develop the insight that genuine power can only serve, not harm– and that it serves all beings.  A Course of Love says it this way, “This is the new realm of power that few in physical form have practiced and that has never been practiced by many at one time.  It is a major shift because it is not neutral but creative.  It is of creation and can only flow through those that have mastered neutral observation because the intent of creation, rather than the intent of the observer, is the creative force, the animator and informer.  This power cannot be misused because it is unavailable to those who have not realized their oneness with the creative force.”

The idea expressed here is that transformative, creative power is not available to us so long as we occupy a divided land of separate wills.  It is not a skill we can practice and claim as our own to do with as we please.  We cannot be in relationship to power, and still carry secretly within us the desire to be special, to reach some exultant state, or to have power over another.  We must be unified within, and without.  Becoming powerful isn’t about making a single life better– such as our own– but about allowing the energy and intent of creation to further the movement of the whole through the yielding of our presence unto its grace.  Ideas like this leave me with the inspired feeling of how little I’ve managed to open myself, and how deep the experience of unity can truly be.

When we ponder ideas such as these, it is natural to wonder what the next steps are.  How do we enter more deeply into a relationship with the power of creation?  I am increasingly thinking that this type of questioning is a classic example of how a mind rooted in separateness might proceed.  What do I do?  What are the skills I must practice, and the knowledge I must perfect?  Increasingly, I find myself trusting that this will all take care of itself as we open ourselves more deeply to the presence of Love.  As we stay near to this holy life within us, we find we know what to do next.  Our own role in the process dissipates.  It takes care of itself.  There is a sense of peace in the simplicity of this for me, for that ease of unfolding is itself a validation of the idea that true power never harms or divides.  We know this, because it’s expression doesn’t require the focused efforts of any one of us to execute our will– merely the willingness to be open to the ideas and inspiration that speak to and through us.

Perhaps most importantly, power isn’t nothing at all.  It’s something, and it’s big.  I don’t want to leave on the impression that it’s just a nice idea.  It is the potential within us, accessible through unity, to heal and transform this world, to make the unseen seen, and to move mountains.  As we transcend the historical patterns of separation and specialness, we create the space for such power to express freely, through lives in which bitterness, uncertainty, scorn and anger have been dissolved, resulting in the discovery that true power is all that remains…

40 Comments

  1. Powerful piece my friend, I shall ponder further the messages within as I find as my eyes hang in tiredness there is something more I need to hear and want to do it true justice, as always inspiring my thoughts as sleep time comes round, I know these thoughts will invade and reach the core as walls get set aside while I drift into the dreamland where inspiration waits to be tapped😌 peace and blessings my friend, K

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kim,

      Now I’m on the fatigued end of the spectrum… Ha! The wheel turns… Perhaps as you say, these words need merely sink into the sea of our dreams, and set down roots, and in time the beautiful fruit will float to the top… 🙂

      Blessings to you also,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this, I think it’s a very worthwhile thing to define ‘power’. The problem is, of course, it’s a tainted word. I spent some time looking through synonyms for power, couldn’t find anything satisfactory. The power of God comes to mind but that’s thought to be too fundamentalist these days. Even so, it’s interesting to consider this, as one who does spend time in meditation – I usually find it more of a passive openness, a resting in neutral observation… yes, but the notion of power doesn’t normally arise. When I visit my favourite Buddhist monasteries and spend time with the monastic community there – those embarked upon ‘the holy life’ – I find a familiarity with this if I associate it with something like the power of love, the power of mutuality, the power of shared spiritual understanding. The power of seeing through our separateness; a valuable object of contemplation… no words for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Tiramit. You’re right– there’s no words for it. There’s a presence that gives of itself, a peace that I often associate with “power” because I can sense its indomitable nature. Maybe there’s a synonym? Indomitable?

      I’ve pushed the envelope a little with this post, though, because I do think there is power in who we are. There is something that is more than passive. That is what I think I want to say about it. There’s something within us that is at cause, even as it is likewise somehow an un-willed effect. Perhaps it is nothing more than the natural movement we are left with when our striving ceases, but if I ask myself, would such a free and graceful movement be merely another shape in space? Just another image? Or would it enliven somehow its surroundings? Would it affect the life of other living beings? Would it resonate with the very fiber and fabric of being? I think it would. So somehow, expressing ourselves more deeply, more fully– it has a power I think. It extends powerfully. I feel it can release something into the air of this planet, into the atmosphere of our shared heart.

      I don’t think this is really distinct from what you have experienced in the monastic communities, but also I think our minds somehow shape the manner in which this manifests. If one has no concept of a farm, one will not find oneself farming. In A Course of Love, Jesus suggests that if we thought freedom from suffering were possible, we might seek that instead of so many proxies (going off of memory there; so that is not an exact quote), and since seeking is finding, our experience would change altogether. I write this simply sensing that it is so. I sense that as we unfold with less fetters and internal inconsistencies, new forms of being and expression will continue to emerge.

      I also sense this is simple. We are doing it right now…

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Power is such a compelling yet often repulsive topic for people to take on. I know Astrology is not your thing, but Scorpio and Pluto are equated with power. As a Scorpio, people often assume I am obsessed with power. I have changed my understanding of power and may change it again, if need be. I enjoyed your piece and will reread it so I can extract more juice from the berries. My current definition of power is the ability to influence. This can mean outwardly and inwardly.

    Keep reflecting and sharing your musings with us. My intellect says I learn so much from you and my heart replies back by saying “Shhhsh, just be quiet and feel the warm buzz of love.”

    peace, Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Linda,

      I like your definition, and think influencing definitely lies along the spectrum of what I was thinking and feeling with this piece. I also think there is this indomitable, peaceful presence arising within us that has an absolute quality to it– that transcends influencing. Is it influence when healing takes place? When a tumor is simply gone? When a mind truly changes direction and the world follows suit? I’m trying to see this type of moment through your words, to see if it fits… I think of a presence unwavering in the face of difficulty, and how it can turn the tide. Just by being true to what it is. Just by being certain. And I think the power is in extending certainty, making it known, making it real… Giving it away… Some will be influenced by this; some will unify with it completely; and some will not even see it, letting it pass right by like a silent rocket… Whoosh!

      Peace,
      Michael

      Like

  4. Thank you for this, Michael. I feel like you’ve just done a lot of work for me. The definition of power, for me, is as you’ve described it, but I’ve never articulated it for myself or taken the time to ponder it. Those who have, or need to have, control over others have always seemed like the weakest to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Julie,

      I agree with you on that point. I think real power has a goodness to it– a protectiveness, an openness, and a vulnerability all at once. It welcomes and surrounds, uplifting those it touches… I think I’ve too often been caught in the middle– not quite feeling up to accepting the idea that it’s perfectly natural for us to be powerful– for what could be more natural than being genuine–? and at the same time hoping to distance myself from the ones you describe. The result is a strange in between. A dull light… There’s a mysteriousness to this also I think– a giving of ourselves to the unknown…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Insightful piece, Michael. Thanks for writing this.
    I relate strongly with this post and with the ACOL quote.

    How to access this place of unity where there is power? For me, the experience is that inner peace is this place of unity. When I am there, then life is full of synchronicities and little wishes tend to be fulfilled in the most miraculous ways. I like that expression of power.

    That is the awesome side of it.

    The other side is, when I am at inner peace, I can hear the inner voice more clearly. And that voice pushes me to do things which are far beyond my current comfort zone, threatening me with sickness if I don’t yield.
    That is also an expression of this divine power. But it is not comfortable for the little ‘me’.

    That feels like the not-so-awesome side of the divine power outlet. But it most probably is still awesome. ‘Little me’ just doesn’t like it and is constantly complaining, “Why didn’t anyone tell me of the risks and side effects of the spiritual path?!”

    But both things are an expression of the power that comes out of alignment.

    I wish you powerful peace,
    Karin

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Karin,

      I can relate very much to both parts of your comment here. I think the second half is the nudge we receive from spirit to more freely express who we are, as we cannot extend our natural power to the world without some form of movement and expression. But this can be threatening, because it exposes us, and so long as we think there is something that must be protected, or something to be protected from, we will be of two minds about this. We’ll be desiring the fullness and the bounty of Love, but withholding ourselves from Love’s natural extension into the world. And I think this is the contradiction we feel as we slowly open up along this spiritual path… But I wouldn’t go back to the shore at this point… Would you? 🙂

      I wish you powerful peace also, my friend!
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  6. As you would deduce from our previous discussion Michael, I would agree with Tiramit that the word ‘power’ is tainted, and as you appear to accept in opening your piece. I wonder if its usage in this context is altogether, that is to say more widely, helpful, as in the accepted sense, then like it or not, the term does imply agency or faculty, and it implies a relativistic sense too, thereby evoking two distinct levels of creativity, or reality.

    And yet the power you speak of is not relative, it is distinctly absolute – I readily accept this – and is unconditional upon the wielding of agency or faculty of any kind. Is a ‘creative power’ in any way distinct from what is meant simply by ‘creativity’? The apparent subject remains a neutral observer, as you say, and the ‘intent’ (I wonder, is there really any?) is the creative force. Again, ‘intent’ implies an intending agent; do you mean by this a god?

    My own inclination is to think of ‘potential’, rather than of ‘creativity’ and ‘power’; this works better for me, though remains an abstraction from what it points to, as concepts always must. I see potential as all-pervasive, both indwelling and of all there is, an aspect of a fluxing phenomenal world, yet not a discrete phenomenon of itself; it remains with or without the appearance of phenomena, and so is not relativistic, but distinctly absolute.

    I think there is a cultural issue here Michael, and perhaps the British mindset, to generalise, is far less inclined to invoke religious or theistic language in such discussions than is the American counterpart; so these are in part my cultural predispositions at play, which I readily accept. I may be wrong, but it would appear that the ACIM phenomenon lends itself to the latter grouping, to what is largely a theistically oriented culture – yes?

    – Hariod the irredeemable contrarian!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Hariod,

      I love you and the power of your irredeemably contrarian generosity.

      I think in this case we should skip the intellectual discussion of this issue altogether, excepting a short preamble in which I assert that while I agree with you the term power is tainted, I suggest it is tainted because our perception of what is happening is tainted in general. A great many things that are true are tainted. So, perhaps some examples, which I will suggest in advance I consider to be all of the same basic type, or phenomenon– e.g. the natural expression of power… (And much of your third paragraph sits very agreeably with me.)

      One example is this: I start a blog– timidly dipping a toe into the waters of self-expression, because, for whatever reason I feel called/compelled to do so. I meet you. And others here. But to make it personal… I meet you. This is no idle meeting… It is the working of what I would call power. It has changed me.

      A second example that my wife shared with me from her travels. She knows a person who attended a talk given by the Dalai Lama, who at this talk encouraged attendees to take a rose, to think of a person from their past with whom they wish to reconcile, and to place that rose under this pillow that night when sleeping. In a few days, the two people (the one given the rose, and the one thought of) run into each other, not having spoken previously for many, many years. I don’t see the Dalai Lama as being the cause of this, but merely as one who attended to his particular part in a much vaster process, which I imagine he perhaps felt as nothing more than being himself, in the way that he was. It doesn’t mean it is a volition or is not a volition, but I suspect there is an openness and an understanding there, and what emerges is a movement arising through phenomena that is somehow profoundly meaningful.

      I was skimming through the book the Wisdom and the Power the other day, which is a biography of Frank Fool’s Crow. As one dedicated to the well-being of all peoples, he played a role in the healing and uplifting of many. He described it as the process of being a “hollow bone”, being emptied out so fully there is only a greater power passing through him. The power doesn’t seem separate from him as he describes it, but he is not exactly it. The way he describes it makes it sound as though it is simply a pure feeling of connection to all things. And yet… it is not merely a feeling. Things take place. Things move and transform. Disease is healed. Information comes. Help is given…

      And then there is Alison’s example here of the mental institution, and the healing through the influence of a particular knowing. I think these are all related, and all the same.

      I’m a little saddened as I write this, for as I do so I have a recognition of both the proximity and the distance to this intimacy within me. I call it intimacy because it does feel to me like an intimacy with experience itself– with life. I recognize that in a sense I’m acting as a cheerleader for what I would suggest is at work within us all, and that on the other I’ve been quite limited in my facility with it– quite limited in particular forms of freedom and generosity one might say.

      Perhaps it is enough to say that looking upon the world as it seems to be gives rise to tears, but in feeling the power of who we are, those tears take on new meaning… Power is perhaps what we would release from the shackles of misperception– nothing more and nothing less.

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Michael, what a great essay. There’s a lot in this that “got me thinking”. You’ve packed an excellent picnic for me. I shall take it with me to the beach and spread it out on my blanket and savour all the delicious morsels in it under the soft September sunshine with a soundtrack of wind through the trembling aspens, the sound of the waves and then share it with the monarch butterflies as they & also I make our ways home. Bon appetit! Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 2 people

    • Harlon, my friend, it sounds like a perfect afternoon. I remember seeing last summer the iMAX movie about the monarchs, and I continue to be amazed to this day. What another great living example of power…! Ha! I was bowled over to discover that it takes three generations to complete their migratory circuit, and yet they execute it like clockwork… It’s unbelievable… So simple and so genuine…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is truly remarkable, how a creature who was born somewhere en route of a mindblowing migratoy path still has a sense of home even though the creation has never actually been to that home. Lots in that is unbelievable but as you said, also simple and genuine. Thanks, as always, I feel as if your writing and your presence, even know we’ve never met, has also guided me, and perhaps as strangers yet as friends we are able to support each other in our journeys. Peace, Harlon

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Harlon,

          This week has been another of those busy ones that come from time to time and swallow me whole, so sorry for the delayed response. I am continually astounded by this little factoid about the monarchs, though I find it no less astounding than our ability to help one another on our own journeys, through the resonance of being human… May we help one another remember the route to peace always…

          Thanks for your friendship also, Harlon, which means a lot to me as well.

          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  8. footloosedon says

    Your ability to express the essence of an issue in clear language is a precious and much appreciated gift. I was particularly struck by the final few sentences of your penultimate paragraph:

    ‘Increasingly, I find myself trusting that this will all take care of itself as we open ourselves more deeply to the presence of Love. As we stay near to this holy life within us, we find we know what to do next. Our own role in the process dissipates. It takes care of itself. There is a sense of peace in the simplicity of this for me, for that ease of unfolding is itself a validation of the idea that true power never harms or divides. We know this, because it’s expression doesn’t require the focused efforts of any one of us to execute our will– merely the willingness to be open to the ideas and inspiration that speak to and through us.’

    That about says it all: the less I effort to make things happen the sweeter and easier life becomes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, Don!

      What is happening, little by little, is the realization of how expanded a reality “trusting” can really be. It seems that one thing leads to another, allowing us to move continually deeper into a lived experience of this idea of power– this awareness that life is living us… The more we get out of the way, the broader the scope of it perhaps. Like riding a bike and transitioning from the training wheels to the movement without drag…

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

    • I’m honored, my friend. This is for me the beauty of the connections we make here– somehow we encourage and inspire one another. The result is not a chasing of the tail, but a lovely movement into beauty…

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am reminded of the man (can’t remember his name) who was the new director of a mental hospital. Instead of working with the patients he would sit in his office all day and read through their files and as he read say over and over the Ho’oponopono prayer “Creator I’m sorry, forgive me, I love you, and I thank you.” In this way he was recognising Oneness of all, that all the patients and himself, and the Creator were One. He was taking responsibility for it all. Eventually all the patients became healed and the institution closed, without him ever doing anything else but use the power of prayer from a place of love.
    There is nothing more powerful that presence and living the deepest truth from that place. In this way, as you say, everything takes care of itself. “I”, or “we” don’t have to do anything. Life unfolds itself. There is a power and a majesty in that. We just have to get out of the way. Beautiful piece Michael. Thank you.
    Alison

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love this story, Alison. After reading this I managed to find a YouTube where the person at the heart of this story was speaking about his experience, and it was really great to listen to him. It all is really so simple…!!! ha! We tell one another this about 2-3 times a week, don’t we!?

      Living as deeply-simply as possible,
      swimming into the waters of the moment,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  10. “Genuine power can only serve not harm – and it serves all beings”! Wouldn’t you agree then that love and power are the same energies? Words confuse many times but the language of the heart resonates with love, power and freedom without the need of words. Another great piece from you, that nudges towards true strength Michael. Thank You! Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi PR,

      I was thinking about this some today after reading this for the first time earlier. The thought struck me that power is love-in-expression. I was thinking about the fact that in moments when I feel “less than”, there really is some way in which I’m withholding something, or uncertain about what I would give to a particular moment. What is this uncertainty but a subtle resistance? A separateness from what is arising? And so what I feel in my heart when I think of power feels like a release of this goodness– a freedom of it, an expression. The Love is always there, but when the love is set into motion unhindered, and allowed to flow in a way that interacts directly with the phenomena of this world, then I think it becomes what I am describing as power. It takes on life, and has beneficial impacts on all that it touches…

      Peace!
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

    • Awesome, Ka! I love a comment that has me thinking about Back to the Future for the rest of the day! That’s another movie I could hide out in once a year and be perfectly happy about… 🙂

      Hope you’ve had a good week–
      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Michael, I found what I needed to hear in your response to Tiramit: “There is something that is more than passive. That is what I think I want to say about it.” This is what I want to say about it, creatively speaking at least.

    This is a statement I needed to hear…because I feel it is true…and often left unsaid. In my experience what can only “come to us,” which can be seen as a passive coming—you’re “simply” open and inspiration comes “in”—for instance, (even while openness is not always or often so simple, but that’s another idea to explore at another time), it then needs to come back out. Needs to literally “come out.” You expressed it once to me as “it needs to meet itself in the world.” Our power arises, I feel, with the meet-up with “what comes” but is both contained and expanded, in this flow of “in and out to the world” where this secondary meet- up, (joining, sharing, connecting) happens. The exchange. The Mobius strip of energy, including human energy to “do”…to make manifest. To step out, step up, bring it on.

    The problem, for me is two-fold. One is confusion which I know, absolutely know, is what I meet each time something truly creative is about to be born, and yet, while I know this, and feel I ought to be able to meet this confusion as a friend, I cannot. It is not the nature of confusion to befriend. The nature of confusion is to stir up without letting anything settle. It’s like being told to put the ends of the magnets that oppose each other together. There is an “action” that takes place with this confusion, and heaven help me, it is, for me, quite often an active stalemate. I wrestle with confusion and neither of us agree to being pinned down. It’s like being bound up in knots so that you go through the wriggling that gets you free. (And while this is happening someone is always pointing at you, wondering what’s the matter with you that you let yourself get so tied up—the knots you might say, are not seen as consistent with the process.) Still, once you’ve wriggled free, the “doing” is relatively easy. The thing has already been born in the arena (to use one of your poetic words).

    But the second part is about what happens after the birthing. Just like with a new baby, that’s when the “other” work begins, the work that has to do with releasing the power of the thing that’s been created or made manifest, the work that sometimes requires new and foreign skills, some you’re willing to adopt and some you don’t want to have anything to do with. Creation just doesn’t take place in a vacuum or belong in the idea stage for ever. “Everything is birthed in an idea” is another quote from A Course of Love. “Birthed.” And then the manifesting creature needs nurturing to move into the world as what it is. Can you abandon it? There are decisions to be made. Choices. Expenses. Those underdeveloped skills. The dreaded question, “What’s next?” Is this it? Has it come fully forward? Have “you” come fully forward? Is your computer working properly? Can it complete the energy strip motion? What of you? Has the giving and receiving taken place? And if it has and your creation finds its place in the world, then what? One thing leads to another and to another…unbidden. But still you have to respond. . . . Don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mari,

      Yes, I think you are describing something essential to the powerful expression of who we are. At least for now– for the position in which I find myself today– the ideas and creative desires that arrive carry with them certain “calls” to show up in this life in new ways, in deepening ways, and what is challenging about them is that it really means showing up with one another in ways that we haven’t before. This is the part of relationship I think we sometimes lose sight of… I can dream of being the commander of the first mission to Mars all I want, but if I don’t take the risk of competing for the position with others, if I don’t put myself in positions where my leadership will be tested, if I don’t show up at every level… it is likely to remain just an idea. That’s kind of an extreme example, but I think it speaks to what we’re trying to say. I think the most profoundly creative acts– the ones that will transform our experience of being in this world– are precisely those that call us into situations that demand we give our responses.

      I say this all remembering a speech of George Saunders I saw on-line where he talked about the countless missed opportunities for kindness that he’d witnessed in his own life, and I think it is kind of like that with claiming our power. We get the “big ideas” but there are also so many daily opportunities to express ourselves more fully. It reminds me of the place in ACOL where Jesus speaks of the teenager with respect to this notion of claiming our power. The teenager realizes the power of simply being who they are… It’s not a pre-meditated act. It may be an acting out… ha! But the thing is that by expressing fully in new and diverse ways, the person they are being emerges…

      And then the real powerful aspect of this is that I think as we’ve dissolved what ACIM and ACOL would call the ego, this showing up isn’t about the teenager’s idea of rebellion or freedom. This is about the whole universe’s desire as it arrives within each of our hearts. Part of this challenge is showing up with the willingness to allow the whole thing to express in our life. It’s almost as if we’re out of the way, yet in the process discovering ourselves more deeply than ever…

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

  12. Hmmm – it feels like I’ve read your post before and I know there was definitely a reaction but I can’t see any comment from me here, so in case I suffer amnesia, please forgive me 🙂
    Your reflections on power really ‘hit’ me as I know that I associate negative with the word POWER. As if it is linked to destruction, abuse, overpowering. It need not be, I know that, but it does have that ‘taste’ to me.
    Recently, in meditation, I was told by a very powerful metaphysical being – one that seems to have no problem with power himself – that I need to consider POWER of creation…not destruction. He made his point.
    And it is important to be in one’s own power. Doesn’t mean to ‘exert’ power (over others) but – like you mentioned – by being who one truly is, shining one’s light = power. That brings to mind the wonderful quote by Marianne Williamson:

    “…Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.
    Your playing small does not serve the world.
    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
    We are all meant to shine, as children do.
    We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
    It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
    And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
    As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Gia,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, and the lovely quote from MW. Power is indeed a strange word due to its abuse and mistreatment, but when we realize it’s closest synonym is not force, but authenticity, I think it helps to soften the reaction… 🙂

      The quote from Marianne is in some ways a challenging one for me. I so agree that playing small does not serve the world, but I’ll also say that playing big, when it is not who we are– as in leaping right to some ideal of ourselves that is a mental concept– does little to advance the ball either. It is for me an interesting dance– like being set out on the ice in skates for the first time. Sometimes the mind is going faster than the heart, and sometimes the other way, so the whole structure is a little wobbly and sort of shimmying along.

      The words brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous all invite comparisons in a way, don’t they? It’s really this shift to accepting that the givens of our own form– our proclivities, whimsies and natural talents– are somehow precisely what is needed. No matter that the world really perceives them as brilliant or fabulous or not. Those kinds of words can bring to mind the shiny, happy people– meaning the ones who keep the smiles high no matter what– and I think just meeting one another in our brokenness, in our tattered jeans and sharing a cup of tea or giving witness to a moment of transcendence or breakdown are such enormous gifts…

      This is not meant to be a knock on the beautiful quote– just reactions of my own that came out… It’s really a reaction to my own shimmying– to reaching one moment too far towards what we might call specialness, then swinging the other way back through center towards littleness… In the middle somewhere, is peace that is a brilliance no one can deny… 🙂

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s