‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond belief.’ -Nelson Mandela
Every so often I enter into a discussion about world events with someone who vehemently believes that as individuals, we are nothing against the powers that be. So strong is their opinion of our individual helplessness that the other party walks out before I have a chance to express otherwise. If only they could imagine how powerful we truly are, just as ourselves, standing alone against the world for even a few seconds.
It might surprise you that even a person who seems so wildly flawed commits a kind act daily. We’re just not around to see everything. And these tiny decisions can ripple over much more than we’ll ever know. Many movements started with one incident, one person, one word. Do you then see our power within?
Perhaps you are that someone who has an idea that could absolutely change a world event easily. It could start small with your neighborhood or your community on Facebook or Twitter. You might be the person whose tech, word or art skills provide a platform not only for your growth but others’ around you as well.
Or perhaps you are that someone who supports a person with encouragement and more when the person with an idea is about to give up. When others are bound by discouragement, you are the person that steps up and tells them it’s okay to do it differently through a pat on the back or a gentle compliment. Do you remember someone who consoled you during a difficult time? How did your life change as a result?
Surely now, you realize the power of just being you.
Recently, I found myself frustrated at how slow moving I was towards my personal goals. In order to combat my frustration, I began to clear my aura. I also began to clear my home at whirlwind speed. I tired myself out cleaning. It was the perfect moment to come to the realization that the apartment, like me, was a beautiful work in progress. It didn’t need to be perfect, but comfortably clean. There would always be something new to sweep, dust, wash and change. This is also true of governments and the world, in general.
Many things that seem slow moving aren’t really. We just can’t see it all. We tend to underestimate people and situations until we see life changing results. Yet progress alone, even without visual cues has plenty to teach us. Faith is based on progress that no one can see at first.
Don’t assume that you have to be a cape wearing, superhero version of yourself before you are powerful. Waves don’t ask to be powerful or wonder if they are. They aren’t always forceful either. They sometimes slowly and gently erode the rocks that they crash upon without anyone around them really noticing. You are perfectly powerful as you are.
‘All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of one small candle.’
Spiritual teachers frequently use visual lessons to help us realize how powerful we are, just as we are. For example, the faith of a mustard seed, or the tiny young sapling that grows into a strong, old tree, and the quick sting of a tiny mosquito bite. These lessons have their impact not only because it illustrates how little size matters but because these lessons are eerily true, just hard to accept.
In your life, you have received true and profound stories of being powerful also. They make you who you are. For example, I am originally from a country that established its own independence from colonial rule through non-violence. I live close to a country that recently had to fight for women’s rights to education. I have mentors such as my own parents and teachers who walked along a path that wasn’t common. And I, walk my own path by picking an occupation that helps heal others with gifts that I feel belong to a power that lived long before me and will continue to live long after me. Who are the people that have shown you individual power before your very eyes?
The ability to hold on to my truth and information has helped me realize how powerful I am. Just as all around me are as well. Perhaps the reason why we would rather pretend we are powerless is so that we do not have to accept the responsibility of being powerful. After all, being powerful entails the responsibility of accepting who we are, exactly as we are. Regardless of whether or not others or our own selves are uncomfortable with it.
And it all leads up to the biggest but most important responsibility of all-realizing that we actually count.
Always remember that power is something that can be lovingly shared. You can empower those around you with as little as a smile or a kind word. Think of how our faces light up when children who are just learning to speak say “hello” or when our animals greet us after a long day of work. Just like that, our day gets better. Just like that, we’re rearing to go for the next day, and the day after.
Don’t let your perceptions of power stop you from being what you truly have the right to be. You are, always have been and always will be, powerful.