A powerless definition

In a day or two here, I will begin writing about what or who makes me feel powerless each day for seven days. I am struggling to define what being powerless is for me because I work incredibly hard each day to refuse to be or accept that I am powerless. I always figure there is SOMETHING I can do.

Whether that something resolves any issues is pretty much a crap-shoot.

I imagine that being powerless also means being helpless, and I am never helpless. With the exception of infants, babies, and small children, no one is.

I know I have often given up my power to others or to situations and made myself a victim. I was not truly powerless because I had choice.

I imagine that being powerless also means having no choice. But, I think there is always a choice . . . even if we are not always in control of life, we have a choice about how we respond.

I have a friend, Ted, who has been given some troubling news. I am powerless to cure his cancer, but I am not powerless in sending him love, support, compassion, and all the healing energy I can fling across the ocean. I am also powerless over what he does with that energy. It is his choice.

I just know one thing for certain: We are all in this life together. We have shared eternity and will continue to share because we are all part of the One, connected in ways our tiny little minds cannot imagine but in ways our souls embrace.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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5 Responses to “A powerless definition”

  1. snoopykg2 Says:

    I have not figured out yet. I am not getting posts in my e-mail like I used to. My e=mail has changed to Snoopykg2@aol.com.

    I stopped by tonight and see you posted more about this.

    I agree that we all have choices in the way we approve or dsapprove to be without power.

    It is intersting that in my experiance, some would askk why I did not tell anyone about the substance abuse or other abuse in my realm of control. ZI would guess the answer is that there was a percieved control. Sure I could tell my other family members, however would they really believe me or the elders. Powerless at it best, by coertion, blackmail, genetics, thats the way we have always done it, etc…..

    I refer to Lauries signature phrase, Whaever you are not changing, you are choosing…..Being somehow stuck in a big black hole and not even having any idea to get out ois the biggest, powerless thing that a person could not possibly see if they have control over it. The definitly need outside help before it isd too late.

    In my case the issues were just put aside as normal and I was left to be the abnormal one, or think that way. After regressing all those stories that were told so long ago, they showed their ugly head for me to really delve into them and understand it was not my fault and no matter what I told myself, I was in power, even at the time, and can move on and heal from it. Example, seeing your older brother come home one night with a huge bottle of vodka that he is chugging down is not a site that a young person should have to understand, let alone do something about at the time….

    Ok thats my two cents for tonight!
    i hope I am not too far off base…..



    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kim — I think if you want notifications sent to your new e-mail, you have to “sign up” on the home page; there is that little button in the right column. I haven’t figured out how to change it from here. With regards to your post upstairs, I think you are right on target. My dysfunctional family told me that they were normal and I was not. I spent 20 years in therapy trying to become like everyone else. I did not even fit in with group therapy! I think the “issues” that psychiatrists and psychotherapists like to label us with are normal responses to abnormal situations and abnormal behavior of others. My mother could talk a real good mother talk, make all the right motions to show how caring she was when other people were around, but then dissolve into some sort of psychotic “it’s all about me!” meltdown where she would often take away the few pleasures I and my siblings had for months at a time and blame us for it. It was very weird and she is now 81 and keeps wondering why I don’t want her to come live with me so I can take care of her. According to her, it is abnormal that I would not want to take care of her.

      • ButterfilesGalore Says:

        but then dissolve into some sort of psychotic “it’s all about me!” meltdown where she would often take away the few pleasures I and my siblings had for months at a time and blame us for it

        They did say I had a twin at birth???? This sounds earily close to my description!

        Psychotic is a nice word in my world. I think I can think of a few….

        I find it interesting that others can say that a person with substance abuse should have power over their addiction, and then there are the people invovled that I see that are totally powerless and have no absolute idea how to gain power over it, it is all they know.

  2. jeffstroud Says:


    Maybe I should have saved my first response for here instead of sharing it on the first day of this cycle of blogs? Yet maybe I have something else to share on this too?

    What I am picking up was that you where a survivor in your family of dysfunction, you took care of your self by being the abnormal one. If in that case you became self motivated and self caring even in an egoic way, your survived, Good for you! You are here to talk about it.
    Laurie’s mention of the Solar Plexus caused me to pull out “Reiki and the seven chakras” by Richard Ellis, he states: “Commonly known as the power centre, this chakra is found in the solar plexus, just below the sternum. Ruled by the element of fire, this centre is the furnace that purifies toxicity on all levels within the surface bodies.” Later on he goes on to state this area, “Being related to the power and will, this chakra is the home of the ego-and it won’t like giving it a little E! This is personalised consciousness that makes its way in the world. From here we develop our own personal truth…” I think this is where you and many of us find it difficult to admit “powerlessness”? It is here that when out of balance that we find we have allowed the world to inform our choices, creating disturbances in our energy of self worth and caring.
    This is very close to my experience of after many years of recovery I gave up my power to a group of people within a spiritual community because I wanted to live there, and I wanted them to accept me, yet they did not! I came away from there very wounded, with a lack of trust in myself worth and the world around. I am just beginning to allow the light to shine once again, I am just beginning to trust that my Higher Power has guided me out and through this fire of transformation.

    I am Love, Jeff

  3. Barbara Kass Says:

    Wow, Jeff, it will probably take me a day or two to let this all sink in. You have hit several key truths squarely on their little heads. In a warped way, I learned to take care of others so that they would take care of me. Now, I am working to let that go (taking care of others with my agenda attached). I, too, have wanted so badly to belong to certain groups of people that I gave up a lot of my power to them only to, like you, not be accepted after all. It feels like baby steps now to venture out with my sort of raw edges still wincing. But I do know this: now I look for people like I like truly for who they are and not for what I want to own about them for myself. And I am just starting to live as my true presence in small increments.

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