Number 30 in a Series
What do you think are the things you need to be happy?
For years I heard the quiet preaching that contentment and peace is found within. But, that was drowned out by the rainbow pitches of happiness being found in such things as money, marriage, children, sex, or a different physical appearance.
So, no matter what I had, if I was unhappy it was either because: I didn’t have enough of something; what I had was not the right stuff; or losing something that I had would be devastating. Although these beliefs and fears make great messages for selling products or ideas, they are a recipe for a cake that collapses when you take it out of the oven.
Being hooked into a futile search to try a get my sense of well-being from something outside of myself was a dependency that kept me from being truly powerful. Even though I may have seemed powerful to the outside world, what I feared losing was my Achilles’ heel – the chink in my armor that I desperately try to hide.
Whenever that fear was activated I would do anything to avoid facing it, including compromising my own integrity as well as the integrity of others. For example, when I believed that to be happy I needed:
- Another person’s approval, I pretzeled myself into being what they wanted me to be.
- To be in a relationship, I attempted to maintain control over that person.
- Sex, I manipulatively attempted to get what I wanted.
- To change my physical appearance, I spent inordinate amounts of time and money.
Since I can never get enough of that which I do not really need, I was stuck. Only when I’m not needy can I stay connected to my heart. Standing squarely in who I really am and is what I truly need. I feel proud of myself and it fulfills me. That is true personal power, the real pot of gold.
Staying connected to my essence happens only when I know that even should I lose something, I will not just survive but will thrive. Therefore staying in integrity can occur only when I am not afraid of loss, whether that loss is a relationship, material things or even my life.
Since true power does not fear loss, it does not need to control. When I do not have to manipulate and control others to have power over them or to control the future, I can stay in integrity no matter what happens. I am content with who I am and what I have. That acceptance propels me forward into fulfilling more of my potential and becoming my own hero more of the time.
The ability to stay connected to my heart, especially in the face of difficulties, is the greatest challenge in becoming truly powerful. Simply put, who is more powerful, those who close their hearts and strike back out of fear that they will lose something, or those who stay in integrity by maintaining their openness?
The oft-quoted idea from Rudyard Kipling’s poem If challenges me to keep my head when all about me are losing theirs. Substituting “heart” for “head” and therefore keeping my heart when all about me are losing theirs, is the power I’m talking about.
For Your Journey
- What can you be doing to better learn how to create your own sense of well-being?
- What do you do that erodes feeling personally powerful?
- Make a list of the qualities that your personal heroes possess that makes them truly powerful.
- Make a list of the qualities that people show off when they’re trying to convince others that they are powerful.
- Share-it-forward. Discuss the qualities of those people who are truly powerful and those who may seem powerful but are really weak.
First in the Series: From Head to Heart
Next Week: # 31 – Beliefs That Empower and Those That Create Dependency
BECOMING YOUR OWN HERO illuminates a path available to us all to attain the kind of personal power demonstrated by our most revered and inspirational heroes. Marianne Williamson, #1 New York Times best-selling author said, “I highly recommend this illuminating and touching look into the possibilities of staying connected to our hearts, even when facing difficult situations.”
Photo: Flickr / jiihacxi