I was all set to write about the difference in mindset between competition and collaboration, but there’s a deeper dynamic at play that I believe it’s important to highlight and speak about: True Power and Power-Over.
Our country was founded on the hyper masculine principle of the power-over dynamic. And we’re currently witnessing the death of that dynamic. As well as the birth of a new paradigm based on true or authentic power.
Death and birth are messy processes and while this death and birth has been coming for a while, it’s currently accelerating.
So what’s the difference between true authentic power and power-over?
Power-over is founded in lack and scarcity. The belief that there’s not enough, survival of the fittest, the one with the most (money, influence, title, etc) gets to marginalize and subjugate others. It is cutthroat, competitive and carries a winner-take all-mentality. It is also toxic and no longer sustainable in our world. It has led not just to inequity and the infliction of pain on fellow humans, it’s also behind our pillaging of the planet we inhabit.
True power comes not from an external source but from within. Authentic power is collaborative, inclusive, nurturing, supportive, embracing. It celebrates and honors the unique gifts, talents and perspectives each one of us contains. It is vulnerability and strength that radiates and creates rather than seeking only to consume. It is founded in abundance and recognizes the cyclical nature of everything. It understands that emotions aren’t shameful or things to deny and suppress.
Connecting with the true and authentic power that lies within us (and being brave enough to begin embracing it) is not a process without side effects.
When I stopped blindly accepting the power-over dynamic as “the way it’s always been”, started questioning everything I thought and allowing myself to start shining brighter it absolutely accelerated the end of my marriage.
Boundary Alert: when in any way you begin to embrace more authentic power it will highlight connections that have not earned a seat at the table of your life.
The era of power-over valued conflict, the new era of true power will honor connection.
Disclaimer: this is a journey not a destination. I don’t get it right all the time and still catch myself falling into the habits of staying small, saying yes when I want to say no, dimming myself out of fear of how others will react. It’s a process and there’s no right or wrong way to navigate it, and sometimes it’s not a massive shift but a pivot of perspective that can make all the difference.
Copyright©2018 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “True Power and Power-Over”
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