For something not to have power over you

 

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.

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Love, power, masculinity

 

The word love can be used in two main ways. It can mean love in contrast to hate or indifference. And it can be used to mean finding love for the parts of us thoughts label hate and indifference, and any other emotion, image, thought, sensation – anything in our field of experience. The first one is quite precarious and dependent on circumstances. The other one is more stable and can be found independent of specific circumstances (apart from the circumstance of grace to find this love).

The same goes for a variety of other characteristics. For instance, power can mean power vs weakness or powerlessness. And it can mean the natural and simple “power” that comes from finding a deep love and understanding for both power and weakness/powerlessness in ourselves. And it’s similar for masculinity, and strength.

The second form of love and power comes naturally when there is a habitual meeting of what’s here – any aspect of the psyche, any experience – with curiosity. You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. What’s your deepest desire? What would satisfy you forever? What are you really? 

The labels love and power doesn’t really fit since what it refers to is inclusive of both end of the polarities, and yet it also does fit as a lightly held label or question, an expression of curiosity of what this is and how it is experienced and lived through this life.

Note: This form of inquiry can be used for a wide range of concepts. For instance, pleasure can be taken as what’s opposite of pain (or boredom). And it can also be a deeper pleasure that includes pleasure and pain. A deeper pleasure that comes from finding genuine love for what’s here. A deeper pleasure from following my heart and guidance. And a yes can be seen as opposed to no, or it can be that Yes to what’s here – the Yes that’s already here – which includes the ordinary yes and no.

Note 2: If I want to find my strength, my real and deeper strength, I find it through meeting and finding a deep and genuine love for the weak and feeble parts of me, and the strong parts of me. And the same for power, masculinity, love, and just about anything else that’s a quality of who I am when there is a deep love for what’s here.

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