More on Power With
Power With is a radical notion. It speaks to affinity, cooperation, and collaboration. In our current culture, the dominant paradigm is about who is on top, who knows the most, who is the expert. When you don’t feel like an expert, you look for one. When you feel out of the loop, you look for someone who is in the loop. This seems reasonable to us, it seems to go without saying. We revere the expert. But who is the expert on you and your health? Is the doctor the expert? Is the massage therapist the expert? Is the vitamin sales person the expert?
It stands to reason that any or each of us can become experts in many ways. But there is only one expert on you and that would be you! When you allow someone else, expert or not in your estimation, to tell you about you, there is almost a certainty that you and they have a different experience of you in the world. In the end, YOU can’t use anyone else’s experience. Sadly. The only news you can use is your own. Sadly, I say, because I know that I and probably many of you, wish you could prevent the suffering of others through sharing your experience. Have you tried that? Has it worked? Don’t you often hear yourself say that you have to see for yourself?
And quite honestly, I think you do.
But you can still choose to share what is yours. And sharing what is yours alone creates the potential for enormous power. What happens when you share what is yours alone? It is a bold step, it takes courage. When you share what is yours alone, you are stepping out to meet your world, your world that makes no guarantees, your world that is a constantly changing place. Yet, when you choose to share what is yours alone you create power with. When you begin to associate yourself through what is truly unique to you, the world becomes your place, a place lively with the gifts that only you can bring.
Paradoxically, you often feel alone in the stepping out, sharing what belongs only to you and your experience, but once power with is created through your offering, you are no longer alone in the same way. In one way, each of us will always be alone in our own knowing, this is an underlying pain in each and every one of us. In another way, you can create so much strength, support and connection through claiming what is yours in the presence of another. You can, again paradoxically, never see yourself the way another sees you. This is the crux of the gift in making the power with relationship. It is risky. It is an unknown, a tender moment when you can reach out into the space between human beings and find the energy of both connection and wisdom.
Connection and wisdom characterize power with. Connection means we have found a moment of belonging. Wisdom means we open our hearts and minds to what that moment of belonging brings to us, a fresh start, a new view, an alternate perspective, or even simply comfort. Where in your life do you find power with? Where do you step out with what is yours alone? How does that feel?