wonder woman

Empowered is a word that gets used a lot. I know I use it to describe when I feel like I am strong, in self-respect and self-honoring, and can take on the world. I know when I’m not in my power. When I feel disempowered there’s always a component of helplessness, the feeling that I cannot control, or escape what is happening -for what is power if not feeling “in command”?

I am sure all of us are familiar with disempowerment, by degree; the banks own everything we have, we are the 99{edc87575597f4f3ad5e35fd7f36c45c2e827b7d30afc5bd9b12c8599e57b4ed7}, if anyone in our family got seriously sick our life fortunes would be compromised…etc., etc., etc. There is so much to feel disempowered around! My twelfth house Pluto in Libra certainly can feel there’s an imminent catastrophe looming around every corner. We may equate material and physical things with power, money, influence, health, social status, but you don’t take any of that with you to the other side. Spiritual power trumps all. Think of Nelson Mandela, for instance, whose imprisonment and torture did not compromise his self-respect, dignity or mission. Maybe I’m speaking from that Pluto when I say: it’s easy to be confused about what true power looks like and how it works for us.

So when a friend (also Pluto in Libra in the twelfth house) told me that an explanation of power I gave her during a tapping session had reframed her ideas about how she uses her own power, she said others might find it useful.  I was helping her with worry and anxiety over making a decision (Libra). After tapping on specific fears, we reached a point where she felt deep sadness and grief for the unnecessary worry she has put her self through over the years. I floated the idea that her sadness over fretting about outcomes outside of her control perpetuated feelings of powerlessness… and that this might be about power.

Then I said something very Pluto in Capricorn to her: Personal power is the ability to make a choice and then to deal with the consequences of an unknowable outcome.

This means if I decide to get my house renovated, then feel victimized every day by the toxins, noise pollution and invasion of space, I am not taking responsibility for my choice. I am taking myself out of my own power. In fact, that’s how this epiphany about power came to me.  I was tapping on feelings of frustration and disempowerment over my house being renovated, when I remembered: Wait, who made this choice? I did. So I get to deal with the consequences, too. As the saying goes: With great power comes great responsibility. Or, said another way: Where there’s power there’s always responsibility.

Working with this idea has since helped change my perspective on other difficult situations; situations I’d been experiencing subtle feelings of disempowerment, feeling out of “command”.

When we make a decision to do anything in our life, we always enter into a contract with the unknowable consequences. The reality is: none of us can control the outcome of anything in life. Not one of us. On a spiritual level, our power rests in making a conscious decision based on the best information we have going at the time and then taking responsibility for the consequences. Because, here’s the kicker– even if the consequence of our decision turns out poorly, even if life sends us lemons, we can still be in our power. We made the decision; we deal with the results (and if we didn’t make the decision, by dealing with the consequences in self-integrity, we restore power). That’s the deal with power. If we go into victim, into “poor me”, ie, if I weren’t so (born disadvantaged, sensitive, sick, broken, had more money, he wasn’t a cheater or liar, or whatever way we blame our self or other people or the government, etc.) then this would have gone better for me… we fall into a rabbit hole of confusion. Power does not work that way.  We are obligated to handle whatever happens on the other side of choice- our response to the situation.

It sure beats feeling victimized when things don’t turn out the way we want them to.

As Pluto transits through Capricorn, we are all learning about how power works. We see people in authority abuse it, we watch these same people pass the buck, and it’s easy to feel the injustice. We may wonder who, if anyone, is ultimately accountable at all. But as we work with this on a personal level, perhaps through a Pluto transit, or by having to make hard choices we’d rather not make, free will remains a constant. Where we have the ability to choose, and take consequences, we have power.