From a warrior goddess point of view, power is defined very differently. Power is not sought from the outside, but rather is patiently cultivated from within. Power has nothing to do with money, or fame, or outside appearances but with our connection to self, love, authenticity and the inner mystery of life. From the perspective of true abundance and immanent spiritual connection, powerful people are the ones that have the most intimate connection to their own internal resources.
Our challenge then, is to be honest with the places we are still pursuing the old modes of power and move ourselves toward attuning with a new power, our own. This will not be done all at once, but over time as we unhook ourselves from old patterns and agreements, consciously connecting to our authentic centre.
Heatherash Amara, Warrior Goddess Training
Many of us do it, we may not be fully conscious when our power is invested outside of ourselves in things that don’t truly serve us or fill us up. We may have been taught from childhood that we don’t have true inner power, that our power resides in attaining outer things, careers, relationships, houses, fancy clothes. Not that we cannot find true joy in finding and following a life calling toward some of these things, but the true power we do feel rests deeply within ourselves, in our ability to know that we have worth, that we are deserving, within the power to change what we feel depletes us or brings us sorrow, and that includes negative thoughts that we may have acquired over time into life from dysfunctional sources and in the power to believe in the sanctity of the individual spirit of life which informs our deepest spirit and soul.
In my own journey I now see how over long years I lost touch with myself and my own inner source of power. I see how I allowed people around me who I invested with power to make judgement calls on my life. At the point in my life were I tried to release from false agendas and ways of being I ran up against some fairly tough judgements from both family and partners. They did not get where I was coming from in my need to quit work and start pursuing an inner path of healing. And I must say I now see the mistake I made in listening to these other voices and letting them hold some of my power pulling me towards and into things that didn’t nourish or serve me well when it was my true destiny to follow this inner path.
I now see that I went through about 10 years of break down but really the breakdown was not a bad thing, it was a breaking through of and to something, an emerging of a cry from my soul that would not be silenced that took me into a dark and lonely place but it was in this dark and lonely place that I found myself.
The Jungian therapist, Marion Woodman writes that in her therapy practice she often witnessed clients dreaming of a child or dark woman they find in their dreams, perhaps covered in ashes, soot or dirt, perhaps buried down so deep in the earth and of how this child or dark feminine reveals aspects of their true self that got hidden, lost or buried many years before. I am sure some men will also relate to this but for woman whose power has been stolen from self assertion and sense of grounded self value it speaks to a cultural pressure for us to dumb ourselves down, lose aspects of our wildness and authenticity leading to a domestication of the spirit that only cripples us.
It’s a theme the writer and therapist Clarissa Pinkola Estes addressed in her book Women Who Run With the Wolves. Our young feminine or masculine on some level gets its power cut off, buried, hidden or stolen. This most often happens through lack of validation of the true self, through neglect or abuse that teaches us we have no power, dumps shame into us or keeps us imprisoned in a belief system or buried pain that leads us to believe we deserved the abuse and have no worth.
Our journey of recovery lies in discovering and reclaiming this hidden buried part of us. It lies in finding and living our true authenticity. Our power resides in the lion’s roar of pain we may need to free and express which speaks to how we have suffered but also to our determination not to let this suffering entrap us for too long and steal our power endlessly. And we often meet more shaming when engaged in this part of our healing. There are forces and voices out there that don’t want the lion’s roar to be heard but still I do believe they are powerless to stop a groundswell of feeling and authenticity that must shine forth like the sun if we are to free ourselves to live the gut truth of who we are and our purpose on this journey.
The truth is we can and will find and reclaim our power. We and only we have the power and capacity to retrieve our lost or buried child self and grow that tender, brave, wise, loving, connected, strong part of ourselves through nourishing our unique soul and spirit in the fires and healing waters of our own self regard and growing sense of self worth, freed from any shame others try to dump on us. And paradoxically we often find that inner power and strength through allowing ourselves to become vulnerable enough to admit truths that will in time free us releasing us from a façade or mask that could only keep us locked up, trapped and imprisoned.