Personal empowerment has driven my life’s work. Nobody likes being in one-down positions. We all want to be recognized. And we want to be respected. We envision a level playing field. But that’s not the way disturbed characters like it. They always want to be one-up on you. And they sometimes seek advantage in very sneaky ways. They carefully cloak their self-serving, aggressive agendas. That’s how they exploit you. And when that happens you can feel pretty confused, even a little crazy. Your gut may tell you they’re out to get you. But if it’s hard to objectively validate your hunch, you fall prey to the gaslighting effect.
Folks in manipulative and abusive relationships often feel powerless. They try to understand, but find no answers. They try reasoning but find it pointless. And many times, they go the extra mile to make things better, but nothing changes. They end up feeling helpless. And that can lead to feeling hopeless. (See also: Helplessness Need Not Become Hopelessness.)
As I’ve written about before, empowerment is largely about recognizing where you truly do and don’t have power. Sadly, time and again I’ve seen folks invest their time, attention, and energy where they can’t possibly have power. This only leads to frustration, anger, and eventually depression.
Resolve to Be Empowered
New Years is famous for resolutions. But as we know, most resolutions are hard to keep. We promise ourselves we’ll eat less and healthier. But then someone tempts us with that piece of pie. We promise we’ll exercise more and get fit. But then our hectic schedules leave us exhausted, and craving nothing more than a stint on the couch watching something mindless on TV. We mean to do ourselves well. But then we don’t. It just seems too hard.
We only have so much energy. So how’s this for a new year’s resolution: Direct your energy where it can actually do some good. This is not just good for you, but others too. Actually, you have far more power than you think. You just have to direct it in the right place. You have infinite power over your actions. And, interestingly, you even have power over how you think about things. And therein lies the secret to personal empowerment and joy! Stop trying to change what you can’t possibly change anyway. (Usually, that means someone else’s attitudes or behavior.) Focus instead on alternatives for yourself. Alternative perspectives. Alternative actions. Do something different, especially if you’re looking for a new outcome.
I’m going to be taking my own advice here. And I’ll be updating the readers regularly and the different ways I’ll be putting my message out there. (Of course my books will still be there – with more to come!) It’s going to be an exciting new year. We’re in the middle of a major move right now. And a new studio is still under construction. But big things are coming, and pretty soon. It’s all about empowerment. And that necessarily translates into growth – emotional growth, character growth, spiritual growth. Be it resolved!
A safe, joyful, and prosperous New Year, everyone!