Posts Tagged ‘power’

the power button

August 11, 2010

I let what other people do and say take me outside of myself. It is the largest of my buttons and evidently so ginormously attractive that some people simply cannot resist taking a big swipe at it. In their eyes, I imagine that this particular button is shiny bright red and pulsing with the words “Poke Me Here!” And I seem to have an innate talent for attracting that kind of behavior from even the nicest people.

What I don’t understand is why, after they insist on poking the button, they act surprised and hurt when they get the reactive typical knee-jerk (well, in my case, it is more of a verbal rocket of words as loud and as obnoxious as I can make them) response. The part that I dislike the most is that I don’t feel good responding that way and would rather select a different response that keeps me feeling good about me.

I am of the growing and affirming belief that I came here to become more of who I truly am in my total existence, not just my current human existence. I came here with issues to resolve that get in the way of my becoming. Working through this button and finding a response that supports me better would probably inactivate the button. There is that nanosecond of awareness that someone’s finger is pushing my reactive button. Within that breathless space is my chance to make the decision to stay within myself and my chosen behavior.

I just need to be a little bit quicker to recognize it. I know the advice is that when I feel this button activate, I am supposed to stop, take a few breaths, and take a step away from what I might be thinking and feeling so that I can observe myself with some detachment. I heard some advice on the radio the other day. When someone pushes a button, and we are getting all geared up to hand them their heads, before we launch the assault, we need to pause and ask the simple question: “so what?”

What really are the consequences of the other person’s behavior? Especially, what are the consequences to me?

Lots of times, they are inconsequential. For example, in tennis if someone makes a bad line call and I lose a point, I can get extremely hostile. The reality is: so what? I lost a tennis point. I might lose the game. I might even lose the entire match, but so what? I don’t lose anything material. I don’t lose money. I still get to come back and play again anytime I want. My only purpose for being there is to enjoy my playing tennis. MY playing tennis. Letting someone else determine whether or not I enjoy my playing tennis is giving up my power.

Giving up my power has far harsher consequences than losing a tennis point. And I think that is really the lesson the button is trying to teach me: own my power.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass


Earthquake Presence!

July 16, 2010

The earth moved today.

Really. It moved right under my feet.

There was an earthquake here in Maryland at about 5:05 a.m. About 3 miles beneath the surface, the earth readjusted itself, released a little pressure, and sent shock waves through the rock and soil. Its epicenter was about 10 miles up the road from where I live. It registered 3.6 so, in the larger scheme of things, a mere hiccup of the tectonic plates.

Yet, it was some of the more powerful trembling I have ever felt and a noise like thunder that went on for about 10 seconds . . . just a bit too long to be comfortable.

The Magic cat yawned through the entire thing, but I have been mesmerized all day by the fact that the earth moved. I have come to depend upon the earth staying in one place and remaining stable. Yes, I know we are spinning and hurtling through space at a bazillion miles an hour, but I am spinning and hurtling along at the same speed so I don’t really notice. Today, a part of the earth moved out of sync and reminded me that none of this is as secure as we want to believe. That it is forever is just an illusion.

There is a more powerful presence in the universe. It is the presence that sends things into motion. It is the energy that creates. We are that energy, too, along with the earth, the stars, the moon, and distant suns. We were set into motion by the same power that allows the earth to shift its weight to bear its burden.

For all I know, we are that power.

Think about that the next time life shakes you up a little.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

a little bit of presence

May 21, 2010

Evidently, I am powerless over everything outside of myself and have just been in extreme denial these past 53 years . . .

But I was right about one thing!

I am totally powerful over how I respond to being powerless.

It was just like one GIANT serenity prayer today. All day long, I’m looking for stuff over which I have no power. It started with the simple acknowledgement that I am powerless over whether or not the light bulb in the bathroom goes on when I flip the switch to I am totally powerless over whether or not anyone reads this blog today. I am powerless over other drivers and realize that I blindly trust that everybody else who is driving a vehicle is driving with the collective intent that we all arrive alive. I am powerless over whether or not anyone loves me.

And, I have to confess, I have been holding out all these years. I have been peeking out from behind my illusion of total autonomous power and refusing to open myself to others or get close to very many people because, in my heart, I know I am powerless over their response to me.

Uncertain of my own personal strength, I am a little bit afraid to open myself to others and risk their response to me. But my safety is cradled in the arms of my eternal presence and forever connection to all that is. I am close to something very huge for me.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

A powerless definition

May 19, 2010

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

Powerless presence

May 18, 2010

I have an assignment. For seven days, I have to write down one thing and/or person each day that I feel powerless over along with my thoughts and feelings.

I did not just randomly assign this to myself – it is for a class I am taking on substance abuse. I also get to keep a gratitude journal. First, though, I need to become aware of and write about what or who makes me feel powerless.

I remember a still moment when I was very, very young and the feeling of being totally powerless over my life crystallized. I knew it was going to be a very long, long time before I would be able to do anything about it. Something was lost in that moment. I gave up a dream or illusion, and probably gave away too much of my power as well.

It is a little bit crowded on my path to regaining personal power. It will be interesting to meet and get to know the selfs (<==== probably not a real word) who I am who feel powerless. Even more interesting will be the question: what are we going to do about it . . . if anything?

To recognize that I feel powerless requires that I define what power feels like. And, I don’t believe I have ever given much thought to power. Control, yes, I know all about control (and the illusion therein), but power? The quest is on.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass