Empowerment is a tough topic for someone like me. Someone who has had to rebuild, start over, find myself, and gain any sense of power to speak of. The idea of empowerment was but a pipe dream. I mean the first step in recovery says, “I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable.” But there was a hidden strength in hitting bottom and finding empowerment in vulnerability. Who’d a thunk it? A continuous journey.
Empowerment is going to look a little different to everyone. I say that a lot don’t I? But it’s true. What something looks like to me might be different to you. It’s because we are all individuals, on different paths, with different goals, striving for something wonderful. How we get there is always going to be different in some ways, but empowerment is empowerment is empowerment. Let’s see if we can relate.
I’m not going to speak to empowerment from the perspective of someone emotionally and mentally healthy because I found my empowerment from a place of unwell, so that is where I will start.
Because I wore several masks in my life growing up, clear through to adulthood, I can say with almost certainty that I was not ever empowered. I was too unclear of who I was to have experienced such a thing. In all sincerity, I was so reclusive, insecure, and unsure that I made my way through my days just trying to decide which version of myself I would be. It was exhausting and confusing. Not anything remotely resembling happiness, never mind power of any kind.
So, given such a dark beginning to my emotional and spiritual life, how on earth did I come full circle (the circle continues on and on just fyi)? The answer is simple… not at all easy, but very, very simple. Surrendering. Full throttle surrendering and complete and utter transparency. My empowerment looks a lot like ugly honest acceptance of myself, continuous learning, and constantly seeking growth and change.
Empowerment is personal and inside. So much of what we project on the outside is so very contingent on the care we take on the inside. I feel empowered because I do the never ending but rewarding work of tending to the things about myself that you can’t see. Knowing that I’m gifting myself that absolutely necessary care is beyond empowering really.
Though we’re never just done working on improving ourselves, empowerment can be born in the journey. Educating ourselves, standing up for ourselves, taking care of ourselves, raising good people, being a good friend, and giving of ourselves… that’s empowerment friends. Are you empowered?