Enlivening Edge Magazine Editori’s Note: Here’s a nice mental stretch into these nuanced alternative perspectives, different from the common views “All sensible reasonable people want to be Teal” or “Everyone wants to have more power at work.”
How often you read a pronouncement that someone’s mission/passion is empowering other people? These statements may spring from a desire to help others and I feel there are some fundamental flaws in the intention.
Imagine having a room with two light bulbs on the ceiling. One is a bright 100W bulb and the other a dim 40W bulb. Offering to empower someone is like the 100W bulb informing the 40W bulb that they can make them shine brighter. Nice idea but not very practical. The only way the 40W bulb can shine more brightly is if the bulb decides to upgrade its’ filament. The 100W bulb can set an example of brightness but the rest is up to the 40W bulb.
Here are some thoughts to ponder before you set out to ‘empower’ another.
· How do you know they really want to be more powerful?
· Do you know what being more powerful means to them?
· What are the benefits to them of being less powerful?
· Do you really know what is best for them?
I suspect that alongside the need to help, there is often a parallel desire to ‘fix’ someone i.e. moulding them into the ideal image that is best for them. The big question is – who decides what is best?
In my world the only person who can answer this question accurately is the person on the receiving end of the attention. They may not be fully aware of what they want but this doesn’t mean the ‘empowerer’ knows best. After all – who are you to decide that people should be empowered?
From this starting point, the intention to empower shifts from ‘I will make you more powerful’ to ‘I will hold space for you so that you can make your own choices about being powerful’.
There are some implications for this change in emphasis.
· You may have to put your ego in a box and admit that you don’t know best.
· The other person may make choices you disagree with.
· The other person may benefit from being less powerful.
The gist of these implications is that the other person may have very different ideas about what they want from life compared to what you think they may want.
From a spiritual perspective, we are all here on Earth with our individual life purposes and journeys to make. Strange as it may seem, some souls deliberately choose difficult life circumstances so that they can explore a life theme from all angles. In other words, they may have chosen to be powerless. In this case, deciding that the need to be empowered goes directly against why they incarnated. My guidance is to tread carefully before you step in.
A good question to ask is – ‘what can I do that would be most beneficial in these circumstances?’
Being open to your intuition may reveal answers that might not make sense at first but turn out to be effective in the longer term. The choice is – do you want to be a ‘change agent’ or a ‘servant to the greater good’.
There is enormous power in respecting someone’s free will to make their own choices and in resisting the temptation to interfere – no matter how much you want to help.
I believe the best way you can help is by choosing to gracefully hold space for others and allow them to find their own power – if they choose.