Week Ending May 18th, 2018
Content Covered: Thoughts on Empowerment
As many of you already know, I am a voracious reader. Of late, I finished a book called the Empowered Self by Emily Maroutian.
On a side note, I completely admire Emily’s work as a writer, and I would urge each one of you to check out her other book called The Energy of Emotions, but today I’d like to highlight a few key takeaways from the Empowered Self, and perhaps in the process give you something new to think about….
Give yourself permission to be wrong.
Last time, we discussed the difference between judgment and awareness. Today, I’d like to add that criticism, believing that there is a right and wrong way to do something, is a huge part of judgment.
Knowledge, conceptually is neither good nor bad, what we do with the information – and how we make ourselves feel because of the choices we make, is where ‘judgment’ comes in.
In essence: as long as you’re learning and growing from your experiences, there really is no wrong; everything is valuable.
And when we give ourselves permission to reframe choices that we think were ‘wrong’, we allow ourselves to move past judgment into awareness; awareness of what works and what didn’t work, is so much more powerful that the illusion of control that is created when we pity ourselves.
What are you focusing on?
Attentiveness only deepens what it regards.*
And so it follows, when we focus on what isn’t working, we find evidence to support our claim; and when we focus on what is working, here too, we find evidence to support our claim.
When we put ourselves down, we hurt ourselves in the same way we don’t want others to hurt us. The problem is that we still end up hurt; we still end up rejected and in pain. Only difference is- we’re the ones doing it.
This is how blame works; when we blame someone, something or ourselves – for the most part we are right. We are right at the fact that they hurt us, or that we don’t know how to do anything right, etc. And yet, have you ever considered what you loose by being right?
Being right -or focusing on the blame, takes away your power to be able to change the situation. So I wonder: do you want to be right about how unfair life is, or do you want to feel empowered enough to do something about it?
Empowerment is not a place to be reached, rather it is a journey, and the road to empowerment is paved in self compassion.
It is only when we learn to be kinder to ourselves, to forgive ourselves, to accept our mistakes, to ease our negative emotions, to understand our thoughts– that we can accept ourselves as we are right now.
When we accept ourselves in this moment, we remove the grey clouds that judgment creates and allow our own light to shine through.
And this is why self compassion is the beginning of empowerment, because you must first consider yourself worthy of your own kindness before you can ever love, support, or empower yourself.
I would like to add these concepts may be easier to understand than they are to practice; to practice empowerment is not just a daily choice – but a moment to moment one. So give yourself the permission to make mistakes, and not judge your process. If we were all perfect at practicing these principles then perhaps one could argue that there wouldn’t be any life left to live.
*Quote by Jane Hirshfield