I have heard these exact words from callers over and over again: “I hate feeling this way!” These words are generally expressed in response to relationship distress. So then I ask the individual, “Well, describe the feeling.” I will present a personal experience which will demonstrate where this is leading and I believe this topic is critical in the healing process.
Over a decade ago, while I was a volunteer in an organization that promoted personal development, an incident occurred that I can never forget. It changed my life. At that time my position was referred to as a “Room Assistant.” I was basically just there to do the “Grunt” work. There were three of us and we had very specific responsibilities. There was an organizational structure to the room and everybody had a boss. This was a particularly large group, around 75 participants.
One day into the four day seminar, one of the participants chose to leave. We did not know it at the time, but she was the sister of one of the Room Assistants. So, he also checked out for a full day, attempting to support his sister. This left myself and the other Room Assistants with an extremely heavy work load. Well, one of our responsibilities was during each break, which was only 10 minutes long, to straighten out the room. This included picking up all their notebooks and arranging them alphabetically, straightening out the chairs and specifically removing any chairs of people that had left the seminar. We missed that one!
When the group returned from break, my companion and I were literally dripping with sweat. The seminar resumed, and the empty seat stood out like a sore thumb. The speaker called us up front to face all 75 in the room and proceeded to verbally abuse us for not removing that chair. We actually believed we were going to be applauded for our hard work. The entire incident was so unfair that one of the people in the audience actually stood up and defended us. He was silenced.
We sat back down, both of us seriously shaken. We just sat there, lost in our own shame. We felt abused, not good enough, failures. Then something came over me, and I just wanted to help my companion, and I turned to her and whispered in her ear, “Lupe, you just let him take your power. Do not let anyone ever do that to you again! Ever.” The way we felt then, is the way my callers feel when they say, “I hate feeling like this.” The feeling is being POWERLESS.
The bottom line is that no one takes our power. We give it up. Why? Because most humans have one thing in common and this is a general sense of unworthiness. This LIE, this misconception manifests an array of behaviors and self-defeating attitudes that only confirm our worst fear that we are NOT good enough. This IS shadow work. Confronting one’s personal shadow rather than running from it is the key. Then one’s life becomes something much more than living in reaction to our past imprints. Carl Jung once wrote, “We are not what happened to us. We are what we choose to become.” Once we assume THAT responsibility, true freedom, joy and POWER will be ours.