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When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
     ~  Viktor Frankl.

Who?  Me???   Nah.  “It” needs to change ‘cuz it’s just wrong, wrong, wrong !

One of the grounding tenets of Twelve Step is the recognition of the Power of powerlessness.   In fact, it is within the first step:  I admitted I was powerless over….(fill in the blank), that one begins to regain their personal power.  

Initially folks tend to reject, rant, rave over admitting (even to themselves) that they are powerless over something. Some person, place, thing, or event.  They get hung up on the word (and definition) of powerless. Huh.  Mis-take number one:  focusing on the ‘wrong’ word. A word that tends to be internally interpreted as being weak, small, worthless.

The ‘right’ word in the beginning of this first step is the word “over.”  THAT’s where the power lies.  The growing awareness, and admission, that whatever the descriptive words are that follow ‘over’ (those fill-in-the-blank identifiers) are the power stealers. In truth though, “they” don’t steal my power. I have become the power abdicator. They are place(s) where I have given away my power. 

Those places to identify are as such:  chemical substances (including foods) {things}, caretaking people and animals {coda}, toxic environments of work or households or even some locations of ‘play’ {places}, or ‘safe distancing and self-imposed isolation’ because of a virus … and even the virus itself {events}.  Those ‘things’ in and of themselves do not hold the power. It is the “I” that has given them the power.  Predominantly mental power. Feelings of HUGE discomfort. Leading to the dances of angst or anger. 

When I recognize the dance;  when I make a conscious choice to stop dancing the dance, when I get through my ain’t-it-awful-ing or how-dare-they {or even when I amuse myself and announce don’t-they-know-who-I-am! hahaha} …  When I am working on my fear of and about … and come up for air, I realize that nothing has really changed. I’ve been slinging my power outward into the vast abyss.  Out there. 

That’s when the dawning begins to happen.  In here.  “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”   My outlook becomes an inlook.  My views and perceptions and biases and fears of and about … are great fodder for recognizing (and understanding) when and how and where I have given my power away.  Norman Vincent Peale said “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”  New thought teachings declare “Change your thinking, change your life.” 

This is how Out There no longer owns me.  This is how I empower myself.   This is how I answer the challenge to change myself.   Ahhh…. such freedom!