Another way we try to create a sense of security in our lives is by seeking power. We believe that if we obtain a position of power, happiness and success will automatically follow.
Power, just like security, is an illusion. It can’t prevent us from experiencing anything negative. It can’t erase our deep-seated feelings of inadequacy or insecurity. It can’t make us successful.
In fact, power over others often becomes a burden all its own! Along with the ability to control people and situations come the responsibilities and obligations that flank a position of power. Rather than feeling in control, we feel more out of control than ever.
As much as we might like to, we can’t control certain events in our lives, and we can’t control others. We can control only our own thoughts and actions.
What most of us are really seeking is a sense of EMPOWERMENT. Not control over others, not control over outside circumstances, but control over our own thoughts, emotions, and actions.
As frightening as it may seem to release the illusion of power, it’s also very freeing in a way. Once we “get it” that we don’t HAVE to be in control of anything except ourselves, we learn to relax and let go of what we have no control of. We learn to go with the flow and do our best without trying to meet some vague, impossible standards we set for ourselves in an effort to feel in control.
Dissolving Emotional Blockages
Even if all outer aspects of our lives seem wonderful, our emotions can still cause us to feel unhappy. Traumatic memories can stifle our development. Negative thought habits can fill us with feelings of frustration and powerlessness. Negative self-talk can cause us to sabotage any goals we set.
Emotions can be a tricky thing to understand, but it becomes easier when we consider that our emotions are fueled by our thoughts.
If we THINK negatively about ourselves, we will FEEL badly about ourselves.
If we focus on the negative in our lives, our lives will seem to have a negative theme. It’s all about what we focus on the most that determines how we feel.
Think about the last time your day took a sudden nosedive because of something simple.
Let’s say you were driving to work, singing along with a song on the radio, and some jerk cut you off in traffic. Your first thought might be, “What a jerk!” (Or a more colorful term) Your next thought might be, “People are so rude these days, and I seem to encounter the rudest of them all! What did I ever do to deserve this?
From there your mood can continue to spiral down as you ponder your bad luck in having to deal with inconsiderate people. Do you see what happens in situations like these? You have a negative experience, and then you internalize it. Not just for the moment either, but for the rest of your day. Even worse, because your attitude tends to attract most of your experiences, feeling negative will continue to attract more rude and inconsiderate people into your day.
Though it seems impossible, we can control our emotions. We can choose our emotions, moment to moment. And we begin by choosing our thoughts. Using the example from above, what would be a more empowering response? You could simply say, “That wasn’t very nice,” and then turn your attention back to the song you were singing.
That may seem like a difficult thing to do when your anger is ignited, but with practice it gets easier. Rather than internalizing the things that happen to you (especially things you can’t control), simply let go of them and keep your emotional balance. If you pay attention to how you feel throughout the course of your day, you’ll become aware of whether your thoughts are negative or positive. Then you can simply choose to release your negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts – which will make you feel better. Again, it takes consistent effort to fully master this technique.