Powerlessness is one of the biggest emotions we want to avoid and current world events are bringing this emotion to the forefront. It’s a great opportunity, but what I notice is the majority of people, including myself, are trying to ‘manage’ it, avoid it, in different ways, rather than feel it and particularly look at the deeper origin of that feeling and the attached belief systems we have.
In the freedictionary.com it defines powerlessness as:
1. Lacking strength or power; helpless and totally ineffectual.
2. Lacking legal or other authority.
Merriam-Webster, likewise, defines it as “the lack of sufficient ability, power, or means.“
Associated words in my old Collins Thesaurus are debilitated, feeble, frail, helpless, impotent, incapable paralysed, defenceless, disenfranchised, weak, dependent and vulnerable.
I’ve realised I have an addiction to avoiding feeling powerless, a desperate need not to feel vulnerable: a desperate need not to feel any of those words in the description above. This leads and has led me to manage and control, as much as I’m able, situations, my life and sometimes manage and control others, as well as find a myriad of addictive ways to distract myself from feeling vulnerable, helpless or ineffectual.
To add another layer I have then judged any frailties that pop up, criticising my perceived failures and weaknesses. Hence, I often been caught in a sort of spiralling tornado that doesn’t move. In it, I am trying to place all the bits in the right place, and being whacked by the bits I can’t. It’s hard to explain in words, but it does become ever more painful, especially once you become aware of it.
But, its good to become aware of it. Its also very good to look at the emotions and actions we take to avoid powerlessness, personally but also more widely. It has been my observations, sadness, and fear during the pandemic and with the climate crisis and other events that brought me back to recognising how much we hate powerlessness. Even though, ironically, by not recognising this, we seem to either give up our power, by blind submission, clinging to addictions and lalaland or we get angry, attacking and blaming everyone around us.
What does blame do? It makes us powerless. Crazy hey? It’s not that others haven’t done harm to us, but the blaming (which I’ve done plenty of) leaves the fixing to others and if they don’t want to fix it you’re left with nothing, but a growing anger and despair. As adults, it’s also a good way to avoid our own responsibility and harm we have done to others, our environment and ourselves.
In Matthew 7, v 1-6, Jesus talks about our judgement and blame of others.
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye‘ (v4,5)
I think in this passage its good not to miss is “then you will clearly.” We can help others once we’ve helped ourselves. We don’t have to be perfect to help others, but we have to stop judging and blaming without looking at what is in us, that is in error: that is not loving from God’s perspective. Once, we start getting real with ourselves and growing humility (the willingness to feel all our emotions all of the time) to release our error then we will start to feel more compassion and be more able to see clearly what’s going on: not through the cloudy sandstorm of our error based vision.
Terror and fear sit in powerlessness and that is the emotion we dread. The two things are interwoven. I know when fear or terror comes up for me, I feel out of control. I feel faint, I can’t breath properly, even that I might die. I feel powerless, helpless, extremely fragile and open to forces beyond me.
That’s what we hate. It takes us back to the times we were helpless, most of them as children. When we were dependent on our care-givers for survival and literally under their control. There was no escape.
It takes me back to the slam of the kitchen door and the sound of my step-father punching my mum; back to my efforts to resuscitate my mother from alcohol and painkillers; to the dread of what would happen in our house every day: unpredictable behaviour and events.
It takes us back to everytime we were screamed at, manipulated, touched inappropriately, shut up, ignored and not loved.
It’s not comfortable, it’s deeply painful, but if we didn’t release that fear during the events when they happened then those fears, anger, grief are driving our lives. Look at the world. We still feel powerless.
But we’re not.
We may not control everything in our lives. The truth is, we can’t control it. Things, like a pandemic happen and governments responding to fear, take actions, that often don’t make sense and inhibit free will. But this all happens in a damaged world. It doesn’t have to stay damaged.
But, we have to start with ourselves and we have to own and feel our fear. There is no other way. Logically, if we look, if we’re honest, we can see how much fear drives the insanity in our lives, in the world. I have looked at my own life and behaviours and it isn’t pretty.
I know that my suppressed emotions, especially my fear have contributed to how the world is now. I know it for sure. I spoke about the butterfly effect in a previous post, and it happens with the good and the bad. Jesus teaches, the emotions inside that we don’t own, don’t take full responsibility for (truth and humility) they leak out of us, or we project them.
We demand that others or the world/things in the world help us avoid our fear. We reach for addictions and even feel entitled to them, growing ever more arrogant, angry, afraid and powerless. We build our own prisons and create our own nightmares.
But we hold the key.
It is a marvel because we hold the key to our own freedom. God gave everyone of us that POWER! That has been one of the biggest gifts of the Divine Truth teachings I have learnt is that I can heal everything in my soul ( though I don’t always believe it – yet!).
Our power lies in our own soul and one thing we need to do to feel the power of our soul is become really truthful about what drives us. What error-based beliefs convince us we are powerless? What are we afraid of that drives our rage, anger, blame and judgement?
We are living in a paradox of heartbreaking events and a huge opportunity for change. The darkness in the world is calling us to look into the shadows of our own heart, the places that need attention, tenderness, compassion, brutal honesty, correction and curiosity. Nothing in God’s economy is wasted. Even pain has a purpose. Its a messenger of truth – a wake up call.
We have to go to our powerlessness, helplessness, fragility, sense of injustice. We have to grow a desire and willingness to feel our fear. Our hurt child, has been buried, hidden and shaken for too long.
I’ve realised the fear that current world events have brought up for me, is the doorway to the deeper, original terrors that happened to me when I was young.
Our power lies in feeling the powerlessness we felt as children. Then we will feel our power as adults to change everything. Then we will know that no human can ever destroy us. Feeling fear is part of reclaiming all that God has made us to be, “the greatest of His creations and the most wonderful of all Her handiworks.”
For myself, my unwillingness to give up control, to be self-reliant blocks me to the love of my Father. I feel if I let God in, He will consume me and I will be powerless forever. I believe this so deeply despite seeing evidence to the contrary in Jesus, Mary and others. I believe it because I felt consumed by my mother and have yet to release the emotions I have about that.
Our fear prevents us from going to the one place where we will feel our worth and the unconditional Love we all long for.
Jesus has a given a number of talks on fear. They are called “Fear is your friend” for a reason. Feeling fear, feeling powerless actually holds great power. That’s the magic that God created for us. As I said, nothing in God’s economy is wasted. He has given us the power and He’s assisting us. Knowing Him, is knowing the power,and beauty, of your own soul.
So let’s all encourage each other to feel our fear, not help each other avoid it. I’ve never seen on a death certificate “he died of feeling emotions.” But we do see, death and disease caused by the suppression of emotions.
It is really, we just need faith and to let go of the idea it’s hard or complicated (just another addiction). Our souls were made to feel. Its called being truly alive!
The Fear in your Friend talks are on the Divine Truth YouTube channel. There are a number so just do a search.
There is also great information in the 2014 Assistance groups.
Here is a moving video to the Prayer Jesus created in the first century and which I quoted from above.
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