POWER: WHY WE WANT IT, WHY WE RUN FROM IT
By CC Treadway
MANY OF US DESIRE POWER, BUT MOST OF US RUN FROM IT, WHY?
While in my healing training, and later in my practice, I heard student after student express that they wanted to be in their power, but were afraid that if they really got into it they would be killed, or they would do something horrible. I doubt there is a person out there that doesn’t, at some point, shake in their boots at the thought of their own success.
Power brings up images of total happiness, or total misery, of disagreeing with the authority or achieving a powerful position in our system, of being selfless in our actions, or of being greedy and controlling, of developing a huge heart, or of being heartless. It is duality at its finest, multiplied to the infinite power.
Childhood wounds play a big part in our fears, or our delusions of grandeur. We often keep ourselves small in a family to hold the tribe together. So, if being in your vibrant essence diminished your sister or mother and they somehow punished you for it, you might have decided that being invisible was a better option, but then fantasize about the day when you can be fully you again. The beliefs that create these roles can tap into the larger cultural belief and voila you have an automatic shut off valve when it comes to being seen in your fullness, and a powerful fantasy life about where you really should be.
I of course have experienced all these fears myself. I cant get angry about this because I think learning how to find and manage your power is one of the keys to successfully navigating the human landscape. I volunteered to come here, so I am willingly dealing with the landscape. Getting knocked down a few times is par for the course. The good news is, you can get back up if you really want to.
I wouldn’t be writing this article if this issue were not close to my heart. I have longed to be big my whole life, and had moments of grand applause, achievements and record setting. I have also been ridiculed, judged, teased, punished and put down for that power. Jealousy is normal, but my sensitive heart couldn’t stand it. Any time I upset someone when I was strong, or won the blue ribbon, I felt so guilty. I would try to bring myself down the status quo to be liked, which of course didn’t work. Then I hated myself and was bored with the company I kept. Over the years I stopped doing this, but it has been a journey of trial and error.
BUT WHY ARE WE SO AFRAID? LET ME TELL YOU A STORY.
Years ago, at the beginning of my private healing practice, I took it slow as far as the amount of clients I took on, but one day, I decided I wanted a full time practice. I told my guides, and they told me I should wait, but I didn’t listen. I put it out there to the universe, took a business course and within a few weeks I had brought my practice up to full time. I thought to myself, “Ha ha! I have outsmarted my guides!” Which, as we all know, is a ridiculous statement on the way to your personal train wreck.
But, how could I be wrong? I was so happy, loving what I was doing, making a difference in people’s lives. The joy! The calls just kept coming and I felt like I had arrived. And then one day, during a very busy day, a client was late and did not call. Without warning, I snapped. I was horrified that he could disrespect me like that, I was even more horrified that I was so horrified. When he finally did call, I was so out of sorts I didn’t answer.
Shaking and confused at my reaction, I had to ask, “What just happened?” But the reaction didn’t get any better, only worse. Over the coming weeks I was in a state of total meltdown. I was not used to the power and responsibility that came with so many new clients. My energy field was collapsing from overload. Every waking moment was spent thinking about my work, and even during my sleep I was still doing healing work on my clients. I felt completely taken over and out of control with no room for myself.
With my energy field now in a state of collapse I had nothing protecting me. My shadow aspects were being hit with unforgiving force and the only protection I had was raw, primal rage. My practice came to a screeching halt as I realized I was in over my head. The rage was nameless, and stayed with me in full force for almost 4 weeks until I finally surrendered in tears in the loving arms of my healer. I was so humbled by the strength of my defense, I didn’t even recognize myself and I certainly felt like a loser of a healer. Worse, I really didn’t know what was going on with me, why any of this was happening. There was a major mystery within my psyche I had to get to, but I felt very far from achieving that.
THE CURRENT OF EVIL
One night, during this time, as I was trying to go to sleep, which was almost impossible, I recognized that I was standing on the precipice of power. I saw power as a current of energy at the foot of my bed. At that moment I thought, “If I don’t stand in the current I’m going to miss the lesson.” I was scared to death to do it because I already was a raging, defenseless mess.
But when I stepped into it, I experienced a purity and strength I had never felt before. There was absolutely no emotion attached to this energy. I was invincible, and it was totally amazing. The best part? I had zero guilt, and knew that if I chose to stay in this energy the whole concept of having a conscience would disappear in a matter of minutes.
I stood in that current a bit longer and felt like waving my fist and shouting, “MUAAAH, the POWER!!” I knew then how it felt to be a cold and violent leader. I really did feel like some omnipresent God, in charge of everything. Because I was in rage when I stepped into that current, the energy turned to unfiltered Evil. Evil, I now believe, is a force in the universe of total purity, and it is not an accident. I don’t know why it was created, but it is there, and if we haven’t healed enough, we may go right there and stay there.
In that moment I understood how so many of the psychopathic leaders we have today must feel---nothing. Feeling nothing with all that power is a relief, the detachment is liberating. It was just like all those vampire movies and TV shows I inhale: I was the top of the food-chain, bloodthirsty, guilt free and drunk with power.
If you came from generations of unfeeling forefathers, or generations of pain and trauma never healed, you might choose The Current of Evil forever. I learned more in that 5 minutes than I could have imagined. But I made a decision right then, and that was that I would not return to that level of power until the love in my heart was stronger, and the unconscious rage had been healed. I stepped out of the vampire current, forever changed, knowing the journey ahead would be long, unpredictable, and possibly painful.
I did not trust myself for a long time and all but stopped my healing work. Over time I did discover the origin of the rage. The trauma took time and patience to reveal itself. The clearing of that trauma allowed the anger to be directed correctly, and then healing could take place. And then, guess what? I trusted myself again to come into my power!
We are afraid of our power because it is very, very strong. I truly believe, if our hearts are not as developed, if we are not grounded, if we are not smart enough, if we are not clear enough, we will use it unwisely. So if you are impatient with yourself, be patient instead and trust in your process.
BEING IN YOUR POWER IS VULNERABLE IF YOU ARE DOING IT RIGHT
What about some of the other reasons to be scared of your power? Being in your power, and being a real leader is not easy these days, maybe it never was. When you amass personal power you often become the target of those who think what you are doing is wrong. Leaders, with all of their power, become the most projected on human beings alive.
The “people” can be cruel. To rise in power, you must develop a thick skin, whether you are Mother Theresa or George Bush. There is an expectation to be perfect, and that is a subjective request. I can see how the Current of Evil would be appealing if you have big dreams, or if big things are expected of you. Feeling too much is a liability when you have to be strong through other’s hate and/or adoration.
But that is the risk that humanity needs to take. I believe that not only do you need thick skin, but you need a jumbo-sized heart, because ultimately loving yourself will help you get through criticism, and love for others will help you hear the underlying messages in their complaints, and not reject those that may reject you.
Being in a leadership position and putting yourself out there requires that you be able to love yourself no matter what because people will attack you and they wont all like you. Strangers will talk about you like they know you and like you don’t have feelings. You have to be ready for this. Getting to the place where you can be in your power and in your heart, not separating out to stay on top or safe, but remaining grounded and in touch with the rest of the people is a skill very few leaders have.
That will be the main topic of Part Two of the Power Series: How to use the power current correctly for heart-based leadership.