Power versus force
There are times in life when things seem to flow. The process in which you are engaged just moseys along while each next step continues to fall into place. Think back to a time in your life when something, an event, interaction or set of circumstances just happened to appear when needed. It was as if you were walking along, taking each step as the road was being formed just under foot. Perfect timing and effortless action, you were in the flow of life. Little concern for the outcome or debate over choices, just smooth waters taking you into shore.
Alternatively, there have been times when life feels like a constant struggle. Nothing seems to happen when you need it to, phone calls are missed, appointments rescheduled and doors seem closed when you really need them open. Much time and energy is spent on planning and orchestrating. These times are uncomfortable to say the least. Fear is high and anxiety is running the show.
The difference between the two is simple. External versus internal focus creates a different experience. When we force life to be a certain way all our energy is spent outside. There is a sense of discontent until the outside circumstances match what we want so that we may feel pseudo-control over life. When we force things to happen or not to happen we come from a place of lack. A deep attachment to how things go is a deep pit of hunger, never completely satisfied until the next desire is met ad infinitum.
Power is a much different space entirely. With power, the energy comes from inside. Power suggests confidence, solidarity and a strong foundation. Embracing life with a sense of personal power leaves you free from the need to control. Feeling powerful is internal security. Whatever happens on the outside is only secondary to a feeling of peace and comfort. Internal power comes from soothing inner dialog.
We are all affected by what we can not control, this is a fact. However, the permission for this to rock your inner balance is either given or it is not. You are the center of your life. All else happens outside yourself. What goes on inside is completely up to you. What a powerful responsibility it is to see events in your life as auspicious rather than dangerous.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.