I observe those who have claimed and own their intrinsic power to be more quietly at peace, and no longer fighting hard to overcome that which they think is oppressing them. They know they have nothing to prove or gain by striving to obtain power over others, or get them to comply. They abandon any attempts to guilt, shame, belittle or vilify others as strategies to convince, manipulate or coerce them into their way of thinking and perceiving the world.
Victims imagine they will acquire power by getting others to align with their points of view that substantiate their belief they don't have a choice, or are being oppressed or controlled. Ironically, they imagine their power will increase the more others validate their feelings and beliefs of powerlessness. The more people they can get on their side, the more justified they feel in having proved their position as a victim, and that proof can then be weaponized to take down and render powerless their perceived perpetrators.
Yet, here’s what is really occurring. Subconscious feelings of powerlessness form the perception of being in a position of victim with little to no power until power can be proven by overcoming whatever is believed to hold power over them. Someone in this position often fights against others they believe hold positions of greater power, which further solidifies their perceived position of powerlessness victim. It never occurs to them they already possess an unacknowledged, untapped intrinsic power.
Their relationship with power is a catch-22 because it’s based on the perception of needing to acquire power rather than an awakened awareness of power intrinsically possessed. Having little experience with their intrinsic power, it remains latent and unexpressed. As a result, there is an underlying drive to prove power through acquisition, and by forcibly wielding it over others. A sense of having power is made dependent upon outer circumstantial confirmation. Inner awareness and trust in one’s intrinsic power are absent, so proof will consistently be required to maintain the belief of power held. This becomes an unending, and increasingly exhausting, cycle of control.
I speak from my own experience of disowned and misused power.
We have been perpetuating a culture that rewards those who sacrifice themselves for the well being of others. We habitually employ pejorative labels such as "selfish" in an attempt to manipulate and shame those who would be so bold as to honor themselves first, as if that were a despicable crime deserving of public humiliation. Better to have everyone united in validating people's powerlessness than advancing ourselves toward the potential of all people inhabiting their intrinsic power. So until we are each willing to claim and own the intrinsic power of the Self, rather than seek external approval for nobly sacrificing it, things may not change much.
It seems to me those of us willing to boldly claim and inhabit our intrinsic power pave the way for others to do the same. Perhaps rather than continuing the current game of victim, rescuer and perpetrator, the paradigm will shift to encouraging internally sourced authority and empowerment of All.