Power

2012-10-23 08.37.45

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. ~Alice Walker

 

 

 

 

 

Power.

This word used to be such a huge trigger for me. I don’t mean privilege. I mean POWER and I think we confuse the two a lot in life, but that is another blog post for another day.

I am talking Power.

People work their entire lives for it and other times it is granted naturally and easily for an individual never ever seeking it. Relationships can be sacrificed or enhanced. It can be used for good or evil.  Power and our perceptions of it,  like most things change and evolve as we do.

My family thought money equaled power and encouraged me to make lots of it. Some bosses modeled for me that if I owned the room, if I was the biggest bad ass around that I could gain power.  The media  told me influence  and dominance over others led to absolute power. People always encouraged me to get it but no one ever  told me why I should want it or how to use it.

Yet, life has taught me that  it never has nor, will it ever be about something from outside validating me or giving me permission.

It took all of my 20″s , a whole lot of tears, a mountain full of mistakes  and tequila shots before I learned that the only power that has ever mattered is my own.

Life doesn’t give you what you want in your mind; it gives you what you insist upon through action.  I wanted my own power. My own voice , my own vision. The only way I was going to get it was through action.

I had to start, starting and stop, stopping. I needed to  better manage my life choices and the only way to do that was through action.

You can’t tell people that  you stand in your personal power– you have to show them.  Actions speak louder the words.If it can be questioned, then you are not yet there.

Being charismatic or funny, or  smart or pretty, or rich or  a million other things was not going to be enough. I had to exchange my safe, comfortable life for for the uncomfortable transformative world of DOING. The world of failing. The world of rebuilding, restarting, of renewing. I had to learn that real power comes from overcoming and being resilient.   My power was born from my character: how I treated others .Real power comes from loving someone and not being loved back, but doing it anyway.

My power was born from empathy and vulnerability. It came from living a useful life of service and grounded in creativity and connection. It was not about defeating systems but about creating systems and a life that worked for me while not harming others.

I had the power to accept or reject criticism. The power to say yes or say no to victimhood. The power to be weak when needed or strong as required.

I am 47 years old now and how I express and stand in my power feels more comfortable and authentic then ever before.

I cry if I want without shame. I laugh if I want without censure.

 

I wear my  skin and wield my power well.

 

 

 

The truths that live in my blood

(CW: rape and chattel slavery) A few years back I took one of those DNA tests. I know… I know…. don’t come at me y’all…..this is what I learned. I am the quintessential child of people that were enslaved.  I am 75% West African and 25% European. The slave and enslaver...

On Being Colonizers

Do y’all love Tik Tok like I do? Recently on Tik Tok there’ve been a series of videos where white folks are espousing their anger because Native American and First Nation folks are referring to them as “colonizers.” They say they’re upset because they see themselves...

We can do hard things

Racial equity work isn’t easy. It’s challenging. Emotional. It takes time.   And that’s ok, we can work with that.  What’s not ok is refusing to start or pressing pause because the work feels overwhelming or risky. What’s the biggest thing holding your organization...