Few years ago, I was doing one of my favourite soul-searching exercises. I felt a little bit lost at the time and needed some clarity. The exercise of my choice was something known as Soul Collage. It is an intuitive process – you consciously give driver’s seat to your subconscious mind.
During the exercise I was going through multiple images in the old magazines and newspapers. For no reason what so ever I felt particularly drawn to the pictures of tigers. Later I discovered that tiger, as a symbol, is a powerful reminder of overcoming obstacles and fears by reclaiming our place of power. The message hit home at the time.
What is that place of power? To me, it is feeling grounded in my values as if I had an unshakeable foundation, speaking my truth without fear of rejection, knowing when to say ‘no’ without guilt, debating with passion and respect without the need to be right, caring for myself, having a deep sense of peace within. It is that silent, solitary power that tigers are known for.
When travelling in Japan I met a gorgeous and exuberant woman. You would notice her from a far. She is emanating confidence and charm. There is an aura of glamour and incredible warmth around her. I was fascinated to know what makes her so confident and full of life, so I asked. To my surprise, she said “Divorce. I had been through hell and back“.
When we give our place of power away we do so consciously or unconsciously, whether realising or not that it is a “trade deal”. We trade our place of power for the illusion of love, for material or emotional security, for acceptance, for being seen by the world as good wives, mothers or daughters.
How do we give away our place of power?
- By seeking approval from others. It is absolutely impossible to be adored by everybody even if you are hugely adorable, it is a thankless and consuming task. “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not” – Kurt Cobain.
- By taking things personally. If somebody snapped at you or mistreated you, instead of taking the hit on your confidence and self-worth, try to look at it differently. This is just an unfortunate manifestation of the pain that this person is feeling inside. As Marianne Williamson puts it, everything we do is either an act of love or a cry for help.
- By swallowing our feelings. If you feel hurt, wronged, mistreated, you must communicate your feelings in the most constructive way – without the blame. Your feelings are valid, and they are there for a reason. You not communicating them does not serve anyone. You do not give the opportunity to the person who has wronged you to learn and improve. Sometimes, and most of us know when if we are honest with ourselves, the feeling that we have derives from our own lack of understanding and compassion. Here self-reflection is much more powerful than anything else.
- By allowing somebody else to make decisions in our life. Place of power comes with responsibility for your own life. By allowing other people to make decisions for you, you no longer participate in creative process of life, you become a victim of circumstances.
Do we need to be deeply wounded before we say “enough is enough” and reclaim our place of power? No, we don’t. We can choose less turbulent life by cultivating awareness and self-respect.
How would you show up to the world if you reclaimed your power today?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” – Marianne Williamson