Most of us experience – now and then – that something has power over us. It can be a person, a situation, life, a habit, fear, anger, a compulsion, or just about anything else.
We have a few different ways of relating to it.
We can submit and let it have power over us. Or we can try to reject it, perhaps through vilifying it, pushing it away, or telling ourselves it doesn’t matter. Both of these rest on and reinforce the assumption that it is powerful, and has power over us.
The third way has different facets or entry points. We can try to find peace with it. Find love for it. Recognize it’s happening within and as what we are (awareness, presence). Rest with it.
And to really do any of these, we need to examine what’s really and already here. We can explore how our mind creates our experience of what’s powerful, it’s power, and the me it has power over. We can also explore how our mind creates an experience of threat and someone threatened. And we can explore any commands that may be here, for instance to reject or fight back, to submit, or to find peace with it.
If we don’t examine this in some detail, perhaps several times, we will still operate from the assumption that there is actually something powerful – out there or in here, that it has power, and that it has power over a me that’s here. We can try to reject it, or find peace with it, or love for it, or rest with it, but as long as these assumptions are still operating in us, there will be something left. We will still perceive and live as if these assumptions reflect something real and solid.
And as always, there are two main aspects to this. One is our actions in the world. The other is examining how our mind creates our experience of the stressful situation. We can find clarity, and act in the world in whatever way seem most kind, appropriate, and wise. For instance, if there is abuse of power in a conventional sense, it’s usually good to speak up about it, and do what we can to change it.
Without this clarity, we tend to act from unquestioned beliefs, fear, and reactivity. And to the extent there is clarity, our actions are more fearless, kind, and helpful.
Experience of something having power over me – a person, situation, life, a habit, compulsion, fear, depression etc.
Can try to reject it, demonize it (villify, make it into an enemy) – try to push it away