Facing our Greatest Fear ...I began writing a piece the other day on the feeling of powerlessness, which I believe is the most repressed (or avoided) human emotion.
I had some inkling before I sat down to write that I might be walking out onto dangerous ground with this, but poking about in the deepest darkest recesses of the human psyche is what I do here, so with a keen sense of curiosity and adventure I set out to explore the workings of my own feelings of powerlessness.
Well 2 days into that journey I can certainly share that my initial fear was justified and I truly had no idea how hard this would hit me.
After a tough night I went back to work on my article (which I had already put 4 hours work into) only to find that for no good reason it disappeared from the screen and then blogger proceeded to auto-save the blank page that was now in front of me. In less than 5 seconds all my work was gone and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
HMMM ... powerlessness is a really tough one isn’t it?
So after feeling my life caving in on me (and some unbelievably painful situations arising for me emotionally), I came to the firm conclusion that although I share a lot of my life here on this site, there are perhaps some things - such as my own feelings of powerlessness - that I need to draw a line about sharing.
I also decided pretty decisively that powerlessness is not something I want to intentionally call in to my consciousness to explore.
So instead today I have decided to share my ideas on this subject in a fairly straightforward and analytical way, this time leaving out my own personal stories and examples ...
When we feel in control of our lives and in control of our basic emotional and physical needs, we tend to feel OK and get along in life without too many upsets.
When we stop feeling in control however and begin to feel powerless - and find no effective “tools” that will put us back in charge of our lives, anxiety and panic may quickly begin to set in.
The feeling of powerlessness is in fact so unpleasant for most of us, that we will do just about anything to avoid facing this feeling in ourselves for very long.
For example; to avoid feeling powerless we might ...
- Use our bad moods to try and control others.
- Use anger to try and get our way.
- Blame others for our feelings of helplessness.
- Assure ourselves that we 'have it all together' and have all the answers - when it should be obvious from the problems we are facing that we really don’t.
- Get sick to gain the time, attention and sympathy we need from others or a reprieve from the unbearable situation or workload we face at home, school or work.
- Even blame ourselves (for things well beyond our control) and feel guilty rather than admit that bad (and sad) stuff just happens sometimes and there is very little we can do about it.
Don’t sit there feeling powerless ...
First to avoid becoming crippled by a sense of powerlessness we must sometimes accept that some things are beyond our control, and in our mind give these type of problems to somebody else to deal with. This may mean giving the problem to God (or any other higher power that you believe to be a force for good). I have heard this called “Give it to God” or “Putting it in the God box.”
Second is to consider what success truly is? Are overpaid, narcissistic (and perhaps drug addicted) actors or sportsmen or corrupt politicians really success? Our world has been over run with celebrity worship which has seen our standards for success radically change in the last century.
You do not need to be a CEO or best selling author to be powerful and I would suggest that the most important people in this day and age are the ones who are simply working to be a stable (emotional and financial) influence in their community, while holding true to their own values and morals, despite the confusion and despair that often surrounds us.
It is important to also share this with your children. Let them know that they do not have to be the best at anything (or a celebrity) to impress you, but rather that you will be proud to see them grow up to become emotionally and financially stable and trustworthy.
Third, I would like to suggest that you put together as big a tool kit of resources as you can - so that the next time you start to feel powerless you will have some new and better ideas to reach for. If you often feel powerless this is vital, because if you continue only reaching for what is old and familiar - but hasn’t worked for you in the past, you will unfortunately only keep getting the same unsatisfactory result.
Besides my list above can you believe some of these mistakes people will make in their effort to become more powerful? ...
- Expensive Cars and Homes and Clothes - Leaving you a slave to debt.
- Smoking (to look tough and cool) - Leaving you addicted, smelly, broke and sick.
- Drinking (because it's what 'grown ups' do) - And again - addicted, smelly, broke and sick.
- Illegal and Prescription Mood Enhancers and Pain Killers (to put you in 'control' of your pain) - Perhaps leaving you addicted, broke, impotent, a zombie and in danger of a heart attack or over dose..
- Credit Cards - Leaving you a slave to debt.
To encourage you to come up with a better tool kit, I will include a list of resources and suggestions here and hope that others may join in the comments section and share their own ideas they have found effective.
I must admit that I am not too clear on how the Friends Connect social networking bar on this site works, so if someone else does and would kindly explain it in the comments section, I know a lot of potential friendships might also begin here from people writing to each other personally.
Resources, suggestions and information to help if you are feeling powerless ...
Simpleology - Bring sanity back to your day. A daily program to increase your personal power by increasing the money, energy and time available to you. (Get organized!)
Catch Him and Keep Him - Learn skills to create attraction and a deep emotional and sexual connection with the man you want close. (I was very sceptical of Christian's ebook before I bought it but I have to admit I learned more from him on this subject than anyone).
The Wellness Audio Institute - Enjoy pain free, drug free and low cost relief from stressful and overwhelming emotions including anxiety, depression, ADHD, insomnia, chronic pain and/or addictions. Great for learning to self soothe. (My personal secret weapon which I carry on my ipod in my handbag!).
The Love Safety Net Workbook - Learn to deal with power struggles and tricky relationships. Exercises to build lasting attachment and respect in even the most difficult friend / work / love / family / relationships in your life.
Back from the Looking Glass - End the domestic abuse - 12 steps to bring security back to your home.
Peak 8 - Free Movie - Learn the the most advanced science of exercise and reclaim your shape and fitness while only exercising 30 minutes per week.
The little Book of Empathy Love and friendship - Do you wonder why people feel more empathy for some people than they do for others? Learn the basics of becoming someone that people respect and care about.
10 Steps to Overcome Your Codependence - Are you always waiting on that special someone to call? Codependence = Emotional dependence which is behavior you can learn to overcome. Stop the emotional vampire act and walk into a life filled with love today.
Lovable Me - Know that you are lovable and loved - an anxiety reduction audio with positive affirmations from myself and Steve.
Reconnect - Empowering discussion topics for yourself and your spouse or the support group you attend.
Children Full of Life - A free online movie - The most powerful expose on human emotions that I have ever witnessed. Be ready to cry in the first 3 minutes of this amazing real life documentary.
Validation - A free online movie - A short YouTube movie to put a smile back on your face.
The Body Ecology Diet - A diet I have personally seen reverse autism. This diet is not easy (because you will have to learn to open coconuts and make kefir), but is tasty and by far the best diet I have ever seen for perfect health.
Health Recovery Center - Alcohol and drug dependency recovery with over a 70% success rate. Treating addiction without treating the bodies underlying nutritional damage and deficiencies can lead to depression and even suicide. Get clean, sober, happy & healthy with “7 Weeks to Sobriety” which you can order on this site.
The World Needs All Kinds of Minds - A free online movie - Social skills are not everything, this is one for all my fellow geeks out there!
* Some of the links above are affiliate links and some are not - but these are recommendations of the absolute best information we have come across (or offer). I look forward to your ideas and suggestions too. Don’t just sit there - let’s get in and start working to create more stability in our homes and communities!
Until next time!